The Lark and Its Young Ones (A Hindu Fable)

A CHILD went up to a lark and said: “Good lark, have you any young ones?”

“Yes, child, I have,” said the mother lark, “and they are very pretty ones, indeed.” Then she pointed to the little birds and said: “This is Fair Wing, that is Tiny Bill, and that other is Bright Eyes.”

“At home, we are three,” said the child, “myself and two sisters. Mother says that we are pretty children, and she loves us.”

To this the little larks replied: “Oh, yes, our mother is fond of us, too.”

“Good mother lark,” said the child, “will you let Tiny Bill go home with me and play?”

Before the mother lark could reply, Bright Eyes said: “Yes, if you will send your little sister to play with us in our nest.”

“Oh, she will be so sorry to leave home,” said the child; “she could not come away from our mother.”

“Tiny Bill will be so sorry to leave our nest,” answered Bright Eyes, “and he will not go away from our mother.”

Then the child ran away to her mother, saying: “Ah, every one is fond of home!”

 

(Adapted from: P. V. Ramaswami Raju, Good Stories from Good Holidays)

Nobunaga’s Destiny

A great Japanese warrior named Nobunaga decided to attack the enemy although he had only one-tenth the number of men the opposition commanded. He knew that he would win, but his soldiers were in doubt.

On the way he stopped at a Shinto shrine and told his men: “After I visit the shrine I will toss a coin. If heads comes, we will win; if tails, we will lose. Destiny holds us in her hand.”

Nobunaga entered the shrine and offered a silent prayer. He came forth and tossed a coin. Heads appeared. His soldiers were so eager to fight that they won their battle easily.

“No one can change the hand of destiny,” his attendant told him after the battle.

“Indeed not,” said Nobunaga, showing a coin which had been doubled, with heads facing either way.