In a country there was a Raja who had an only son
who every day went out to hunt. One day the Rani, his mother, said to
him, "You can hunt wherever you like on these three sides; but
you must never go to the fourth side." This she said because she
knew if he went on the fourth side he would hear of the beautiful
Princess Labam, and that then he would leave his father and mother
and seek for the princess.
The young prince listened to his mother, and
obeyed her for some time; but one day, when he was hunting on the
three sides where he was allowed to go, he remembered what she had
said to him about the fourth side, and he determined to go and see
why she had forbidden him to hunt on that side. When he got there, he
found himself in a jungle, and nothing in the jungle but a quantity
of parrots, who lived in it. The young Raja shot at some of them, and
at once they all flew away up to the sky. All, that is, but one, and
this was their Raja, who was called Hiraman parrot.
When Hiraman parrot found himself left alone, he
called out to the other parrots, "Don't fly away and leave me
alone when the Raja's son shoots. If you desert me like this, I will
tell the Princess Labam."
Then the parrots all flew back to their Raja,
chattering. The prince was greatly surprised, and said, "Why,
these birds can talk!" Then he said to the parrots, "Who is
the Princess Labam? Where does she live?" But the parrots would
not tell him where she lived. "You can never get to the Princess
Labam's country." That is all they would say.
The prince grew very sad when they would not tell
him anything more; and he threw his gun away, and went home. When he
got home, he would not speak or eat, but lay on his bed for four or
five days, and seemed very ill.
At last he told his father and mother that he
wanted to go and see the Princess Labam. "I must go," he
said; "I must see what she is like. Tell me where her country
"We do not know where it is," answered
his father and mother.
"Then I must go and look for it," said
"A service have we done thee
To the best of our ability,
King of the Beasts! Your Majesty!
What return shall we get from thee?"
In reply the Lion spoke the second verse:
"As I feed on blood,
And always hunt for prey,
'Tis much that thou art still alive
Having once been between my teeth."
Then in reply the crane said the two other verses:
"Ungrateful, doing no good,
Not doing as he would be done by,
In him there is no gratitude,
To serve him is useless.
"His friendship is not won
By the clearest good deed.
Better softly withdraw from him,
Neither envying nor abusing."
And having thus spoken the crane flew away.