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FablesHitopdeshaOthers

THE HERONS AND THE MONGOOSE

NEAR a mountain named Eagle-Cliff, there once grew a fig tree in which a flock of Herons had their nests. In a hollow at the foot of the tree there lived a Serpent, who was all the time eating up the baby Herons. Loud were the cries of the father and mother birds, until one day an old Heron gave them his advice:

“You must bring some fishes from the pool and lay them, one by one, in a line from the hole over yonder where a Mongoose lives, down to the hollow where the Serpent has his home. When the Mongoose comes to get the fishes he will find the Serpent, and when he finds the Serpent he will kill him.”

The advice seemed good, so the Herons flew down to the pool and quickly brought many fishes which they laid in a long line all the way from the hole of the Mongoose down to the hollow where the Serpent lived. Pretty soon the Mongoose came to get the fishes, and at last he found the Serpent. But while he was killing it the Mongoose heard the cries of the young Herons. So after that he climbed up the tree, day after day, until he had eaten up all the young Herons that the Snake had left.

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