“You awkward bird!” exclaimed the King, and began once more patiently to fill the cup from the stream. A second time the King raised it to his lips, and a second time the Falcon flew against it, knocking it from the King’s hand. The thirsty King could no longer control his rage. He threw the Falcon to the ground with such force that he killed it instantly.
Just then one of the attendants rode up, and, hearing that the King was thirsty, drew out his flask to give the King to drink. But the King shook his head.
“I have set my heart,” he said, “on drinking from this stream which runs down the mountain-side; but it takes a long time to fill a cup drop by drop here at the bottom. Go therefore to the top of the hill, and bring me down a cup of water from the source of this spring.”
The attendant did as the King commanded, but returned with his cup empty.
“Your Majesty,” he cried, “you have been perilously near death. At the source of the spring lies a dead dragon, whose poison has polluted the entire stream. Will your Majesty not drink of the water in my flask?”
He held out the cup, and as the King drank, the tears rolled down his face.
“Alas, why does the King weep?” asked the attendant, in great alarm.
The King picked up the dead bird. “This Falcon, the dearest of all my treasures,” he said sadly, “saved my life twice, and I, by my own act of anger, killed it with one cruel blow!”