Marauding mynah and the web of greed
Mayank was a lazy bird. He decided that he need not forage for his own food as the spider’s web provided him with a ready and steady supply of meals. The thought that he was stealing never crossed his selfish mind!
Mayank, the mynah, hopped about the garden in search of food.
Something silvery, shimmering in the sunlight, in the distance, caught his eye. He flew towards it and alighted on a window ledge.
Wow! He couldn’t believe his greedy, beady, little eyes.
He had hit the jackpot. There in front of him lay a banquet of insects trapped inside a spider’s web – waiting to be feasted on.
He had discovered a treasure trove. He helped himself greedily, filling his tummy to his heart’s content.
When Spindly, the spider, returned home from his walk around the neighbourhood, he was shocked to find his well-stocked larder depleted.
Mayank was not only clever, but also lazy. He decided that he need not forage for his own food any more, as the spider’s web provided him with a ready and steady supply of meals.
It was so easy! The thought that he was stealing food from the spider’s mouth never crossed his selfish little mind.
After several days of returning to find his home raided, Spindly decided to catch the thief. He concealed himself beneath the leaves of a potted plant on the window ledge and kept vigil over his web.
From this vantage view, he saw Mayank coming and helping himself to his food. What was he to do? If he confronted the bird face to face, he was afraid the mynah might make a meal of him too.
After the bird had flown away, Spindly decided to take a walk around the garden, to clear his head and ponder over the problem he was facing. There he encountered many more of his neighbouring spiders who were facing the same problem. Cheeky Mayank had started raiding their webs too.
The spiders held a meeting under the Banyan tree. Spindly spoke up. “I’ve been giving this problem a lot of thought. We must teach the marauding mynah a lesson. In order to do that, we must act together. In our unity, lies our strength,” he explained, laying out his plan.
Together, the spiders built a large, strong, new web. Many unsuspecting insects flew into their trap and soon it was filled with tasty tidbits to tempt the thieving mynah.
The spiders hid under rocks, leaves and plants in the vicinity of the web and waited. Sure enough, the burglar bird walked into their trap.
Mayank, who had grown quite plump now, was busy pecking at insects trapped in the web, blissfully unaware of the large group of spiders that had crept up stealthily around him. The spiders started spinning a new web around him, super-fast, under the leadership of Speedy, the fastest spinner amongst them.
Suddenly, Mayank found himself trapped in the sticky, silken threads of the web and couldn’t move.
The spiders cried out in one triumphant voice:
“That’s the price you pay,
For stealing our food away.
Now our prisoner you’ll stay
Until your dying day.”
Mayank begged for mercy. He pleaded with them to release him from these bonds, swearing that he’d never steal from them again.
The spiders turned their backs on him, leaving him to stew in the mess of his own making. Mayank realised that he’d been caught in a web of greed.
All he could do was call out in vain. The other birds saw his plight but were afraid to help – scared of getting snared in the sticky web themselves. Mayank remained trapped in the web all night long, crying for help. He rued the day his greed and laziness got the better of him.
Luckily for him, the next morning, the old gardener heard his piteous pleas. He saw the poor mynah trapped in the spider’s web and freed him.
Mayank’s relief knew no bounds. Boy! That was a close call!
His greedy nature almost led him to starve to death. He had learnt his lesson and would never steal someone else’s food ever again.
From that day on, he made sure he stayed away from spiders and their webs.