Moral Stories in English - The Young Man, Snake And Dove

 The Young Man, Snake, And Dove

The old man was dying. He called his son and said, "One parting advice, never ignore any creature, big or small. Do not think that human beings alone can help you. No, you never know. In fact, sometimes you may be betrayed by a man, but never by an animal or a bird which might have got some love from you." The old man died. The young man never forgot his advice. One morning, he was crossing the fields, he found a dove lying with a broken wing. He approached it, the frightened dove tried to fly away, but could not. When the young man lovingly touched it, the dove's fear was gone. It knew that the man meant no harm. The young man brought the dove home and nursed it. He had a friend who was a physician. With the physician's help, the young man restored strength to the dove's wing. "Dear dove, do not fly away. Remain with me for some days so that you grow stronger," the young man told the dove.

The dove stayed on. Another day the young man found a wounded snake. As he approached it, the snake tried to slither away, but could not. And it became perfectly still when the young man touched it, for it understood that it was a touch of care. "I will treat you for your wound," he said and carried the snake home. Again, with the physician's help, he restored the snake to its health. In those days thieves were punished with death. And one of the ways to kill a thief was to bury him up to his waist and then hurl stones at him till he was totally covered by them. Of course, if he was found to be alive after a day, and if anybody cared to drag him out, the king did not mind. It was evening. The young man was returning from the market when he heard a faint cry from a heap of rubble. The young man dug out the heap and found a fellow gasping for breath. He brought water for the fellow and then slowly began to dig the earth in which the fellow stood buried up to his waist. While removing the muddy earth, the young man touched something metallic. Soon he found it to be a closed vessel filled with gold ingots. By and by he found five vessels, all of the same size and with the same content. "Since I found this wealth while rescuing you, I should share this with you," the young man told the fellow. "My brother, I have nobody in the world whom I can claim my kinsman, no house to live in. Take me to your house. I will live with you and help you. Should I ever need a bit of gold, I will take it from you," said the fellow. 

The young man took the fellow home and fed him and made him comfortable. A week later a vessel with gold ingots in it was stolen from the palace. The king announced that anybody who can find it and the thief will be made a minister. The young man was not at home. His guest carried one of the five vessels the young man had discovered, to the king, and said that he can help catch the thief if he is provided with some guards. The king did not check to see whether the vessel brought to him was the vessel lost. He asked some guards to accompany the fellow. The fellow remained in hiding and pointed at his host when he was returning home. The guards captured the young man, led him to a field, buried him up to his waist, and stoned him till he was fully covered by rubble. He was left there to die. The dove and the snake grew thoughtful when their benefactor did not come home. The next day the dove went flying over the town and the fields around it and soon found out the young man who had managed to stick his head out of the rubble up to his nose.

The dove flew back to the snake and reported the matter to it. There was no time to lose. "Carry me on your back to the bedroom of the princess, the snake told the dove. That was done. The princess lay asleep." When she woke up, she found to her horror a snake coiled around her neck. Her maids came running. But the snake hissed and behaved in a manner as if it would bite the princess if anyone tried to dislodge it. It was a very unusual and tense situation. The king, the queen, the ministers, and the courtiers looked on helplessly. "We could repel an attack on our kingdom but what can we do in such a situation? We have a large army, but it is of no help now. What to do?" the king asked all the people around him in despair. "Only a wizard can help," said the chief minister. Announcements were made accordingly. Two of the foremost wizards of the kingdom did their best to charm the snake and let it leave the princess, but their efforts failed. Some people were passing through the fields. The dove circled over their heads and then sat on the young man's head. It did so again and again.

The people saw the young man. Since he had not died through stoning, they thought it fit to rescue him. From them, the young man heard about the crisis in the palace. He proceeded to the palace and told the king, "I can save the princess!" But he was hardly able to speak more or move. The queen treated him to warm milk and some tonic and then to some excellent food. He was then led into the bedroom of the princess. Quietly he took hold of the snake and kissed it and put it in his pocket. "Are you not the man who stole the vessel from the palace and who was condemned to death?" asked the surprised king. "I am the man who was condemned to death, but not the man who stole your vessel," said the young man. He brought from his home the other vessels and showed them to the king. It was proved that the vessel stolen from the palace was different in shape. "But how could you befriend the snake?" asked the king. "Through love," said the young man. Then he narrated the whole story. The king immediately arrested the fellow who was waiting to become a minister. He was condemned to death for a second time. Unfortunately for him, this time he did not survive the stoning. "So, young man, you proved that the lesser creatures are more dependable than human beings, isn't it so?" the king observed, appointing the young man to the post of a minister.

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