A Balinese Folktale: The Grateful Crab
Once upon a time, there was a sage who traveled from one forest to another. He was so kind and wise, never hurt any creatures and has profound religious knowledge.One day he traveled to Mount Mandara, along the way, he found a crab, writhing in pain on a rock. It could not move an inch. The sage felt sorry for him and took it. He brought it to the nearest river and set it free into the river. The crab waved his pincers as if saying “thank you” to the sage.
After releasing the crab, the sage took a rest under a tree and soon fell asleep. A crow was watching all the sage movements from a branch of the tree. It called its friend, the snake. The responded, “keep your voice down or he will wake up” and he added “it is the party for us, I will bite his neck and you peck his eyes; come on let’s do it,”
The crab overheard this conversation and out of its grateful feeling to the sage, it tried to find a way to save the sage. Finally it came up with an idea and approached the crow and the snake and said, “Hi you there, the man who lays down here is very dangerous and mean, he killed all my family; I want to get revenge for a long time, but he is too clever; he cannot be killed from short distance, you have to kill him from long distance to ensure your safety”.
“How we can do that?” said the crow. “I do not see any way I can do that”, added the snake.“If you want to cooperate with me, I will show you how, but I have to get my share, I want that man ears” said the crab.The crow and the snake agreed to this condition and said, “tell us now how to kill him”.
“Ok, do not you ever dare to get close to that man, to reach that man from longer distance I will make your neck longer, put your necks on my pincers so I can make them longer that before”, explained the crab.The crow and the snake believed the crab and put their neck on its pincer.The crab without wasting any time pinched both of their necks as hard as it could. The crow and the snake could not breathe and finally died. The crab retreated to the river.
After few moments, the sage woke up from his sleep and saw the carcass of crow and snake, with his divine power he knew what happen. He expressed his gratitude to the crab and praised it for his daring feat. The crab understood the sage feeling and nodded then the sage bade farewell to continue his journey.
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