Foolish cranes and a big fish
One day, two cranes stood by a lake. The lake was full of big fish. It was the breeding season and a large number of fish had arrived to that part of the lake. The two cranes had seen a very big fish and they wanted to catch it. For a long time, they watched its movements.
Then, one of the cranes caught it by its head. But the fish was very heavy and she could not pull it out of the water. She needed help. The other crane helped her. She caught hold of the fish by its tail and both of them pulled it out. They decided to divide the fish among themselves. They were about to cut the fish when the first crane said, “ I had caught the fish. Therefore I should get a larger part of it .” The other crane said, “ No, I should get a larger part because I helped you to pull it out.” Soon, both of them started quarreling.
A jackal had been watching all this. Actually, he had also come to take the lakeside to catch a fish. His wife has expressed a desire to eat fish. The jackal had been sitting on the bank of the lake and thinking of a plan to catch a fish. When he saw the cranes quarreling among themselves over fish, he thought, “ The foolish cranes are quarreling over their catch. If I go and act as their judge, I will be able to get hold of the big fish. My wife will be happy to see such a big fish .”
So, he walked up to the cranes and said, “ Dear cranes, I have been watching you quarrel over a fish. Can I help you in any way ?”
The cranes said, “ Please help us decide who should get the larger share .” Then they explained to him how they had caught the fish together. The jackal pretended to be deep in thought. Then he said to the first crane, “ You caught the fish by the head. So you should get the head .” He cut away the head of the fish and gave it to the first crane.
Then he turned to the second crane and said, “ You caught the fish by its tail. Therefore you should get the tail .” He cut the tail of the fish and gave it to her.
The two cranes thought that the jackal would equally divide the body of the fish between them. However, he said, “ Now I have acted as your judge. I want my fees. I am taking the body of the fish as my fees. ” So saying, he picked up the fish and ran away. He reached home and gave the fish to his wife. His wife prepared a tasty fish curry and both of them enjoyed the curry together.