Live And Let Others Live

Kalia was the chief of the crows. He was dark feathered, with a streak of silver on his throat. He was known for his  high intelligence. Hence, he was crowned as the chief of the crows. With the passage of time, Kalia turned old and weak, but he became very wise. Kalia and the other crows had made an old banyan tree as their home for a very long time. Kalia had given a notice to his brethren for a last meeting on the old banyan tree. The crows wondered, why Kalia had asked them to assemble very early in the morning. Kajal, Kalia’s daughter was also perching on the branch besides her father. She looked very gloomy for she alone knew the reason.

All the crows arrived, and perched on the branches of the old banyan tree. They all let out a series of caws, caws to praise their chief Kalia, which echoed everywhere even far in the hills besides the forest. Kalia was in a meditative mood. He kept his eyes closed for some time. He then opened his eyes slowly, and cleared his throat to address the gathering in a very hoarse voice. “Brothers and Sisters. I have decided to take leave of you. I mean I am going away from this place, very far into the horizon. I am going to the snow clad hills of the Himalayas”

Hmm! Kajal couldn’t control herself. She started to weep. Her kohl eyes were brimming with tears. She lost her mother only last year who died from a deadly illness. She wouldn’t stop her father now. She knew that he was feeling very lonely and depressed these days. Kalia wanted to spend his last days in the serene mountains, in the lap of nature. The other crows were stunned by Kalia’s decision. Why did Kalia have to leave? Nobody knew the answer.

“Now, said Kalia. I want you to promise me something”. The crows didn’t understand. “What did Kalia want them to promise him? Kaka, the handsome one and the suitor of Kajal spoke now. “Chief Kalia, What are they, tell us now”

Kalia said loudly “Live, and let others live”. He repeated, “Live, and let others live.” Kalia’s words were not clear for the other crows. They looked confused. Kalia explained further, “Allow other birds like Koels, Sparrows, and Woodpeckers to make their nest on this tree, and live here. Let the Lazy Koels lay their eggs in our nests too. We shouldn’t mind hatching them and taking care of their kids too.” The crows were surprised at this request of Kalia. They didn’t like the other birds to make the tree as their home too. But, they knew that Kalia was wise. And there should be some reason for this generosity of Kalia.

Kaka again intervened, “Why Kalia, Why do you ask us to do so?” Kalia answered, “Kaka, our friends are no more alive. Their species are getting extinct day by day. They don’t have anything to eat. I want them to make this tree their home, and they can feed on the figs of this tree.” Kaka asked, “Then, What will we eat?”

Kalia smiled. “Why kaka, Can’t we survive by eating the dead animals, should we only depend on figs for our survival. Why don’t we leave them for our friends who are vegetarians? Moreover, people do offer us food on the sraddha day, but they don’t feed our friends.”

Kaka pondered for some time, and said, “Yes, Chief Kalia, You are right. This earth is a place for everyone to live together, and we should let others live too. We promise you that. And I will assure you that everybody follows that.”

Kalia felt very happy. He had another promise to make. What was that? Kaka will be your new chief, and all crows should obey his orders and words. The crows felt very happy as it was a right choice. Kaka was also wise and intelligent like Kalia. The crows flapped their wings, nodded their head, and let out cries of acceptance, “Caw, Caw, Caw, we agree.” Kalia felt very happy. There were tears in his eyes. The crows always stood by him. They loved him so much and obeyed him. He said, “I have a last promise, and I want this from Kaka.” Kaka looked at Kalia, “What do you want? Tell me, and I promise to do that.” Kaka became emotional. With a choked voice, he said, “will you marry my daughter, Kajal?”

Kaka accepted the proposal, and Kajal felt so proud of her father. Kalia spoke for the last time, “Friends, I am going now. Take care. And remember my words, “LIVE AND LET OTHERS LIVE” which echoed in the hills again and again

Contributing Story Teller::  R . SURESH BABU I am a graduate teacher in English at Navodaya Vidyalaya, Chikkaballapura in Karnataka. I am a storyteller and write stories for Nursery and Primary children. I have been working as a teacher for seventeen years. I write blogs on teaching English. I also give in service training to the primary teachers in and around my district  sureshniranam@gmail.com

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