The King and His Falcon

The King and His Falcon :

If there was anything that the king loved, it was adventure! He loved hunting among other sports. He had set up a separate crew for this purpose. There were four guards. He had arranged to provide them with jungle training too.

Apart from this battery of guards, the king had one unique companion! It was a Falcon bird - a bird of prey with widespread wings. As and when the king was on his hunting spree, the bird would fly above and make a survey from the sky. The bird would alert the king, if there was any lurking danger. And similarly, the bird would direct the king to the place where he could find animals to hunt.

The king was very attached to his Falcon. He fed the bird very well, imparted mock exercises to keep the bird in a good shape and he had also arranged for a physician to check the bird’s health at regular intervals. Thus he gave equal importance to the bird!

The king chose to hunt on Sundays. That Sunday morning after the breakfast, the king followed by the guards and his pet bird, set off to the forest. As they were marching ahead, the sun was climbing higher radiating the heat.

Until afternoon, neither the bird nor the king noticed any animals. They rested under a tree and had their lunch. After a brief rest, they resumed their mission.

Then the Falcon was flying above sweeping over the ground in circles. First the small birds sitting on the tree branches cocked their heads and eyed all of them. On seeing the Falcon, they flew away.

Suddenly, the Falcon paused like a suspended pendulum and jerked its head to his left. It was a sign that he had spotted some animals! Taking cue from it, the king waved at his men and went in that direction.

There was a group of deer. They were busy grazing. However, their built-in instinct for danger alerted them about it. Waging their small tail, they looked up. They saw the king, his men and the Falcon too.

The next moment, they began to run. But instead of running together, they ran helter-skelter. The king expected this. He ordered his man to split up “Get after each one. I want them alive!”

The king then galloped after a deer. His Falcon flew above in a straight line. He chased the deer for a long time. The deer raced through the thicket effortlessly. And so did the king’s horse and the Falcon.

The deer suddenly disappeared behind the thicket! It was impossible for the king to run after and catch the deer. So, he pulled up.

His Falcon returned to him. It was a very long chase. The horse and the king were panting. By then the darkness was gathering. The dense jungle totally blocked the sun.

The king was thirsty. He sat down under a tree. Then he saw' a waterhole in front of him. It seemed a relief to him. He went to the horse, took a bowl from the bag and collected water up to the brim.

When he was about to drink it, his Falcon flew near him, flapping his wings and toppled the bowl from his hand! It irritated the king. He tried again. The bird knocked out the bowl even the second time.

It then annoyed the king beyond the tolerance level! He took his sword and kept it ready. But luckily, the Falcon escaped. It jerked its head at the tree top. Again, it was sign!

The king, who understood its signal, looked up at the tree top. What he saw had terrified him! There were numerous venomous snakes coiling themselves on the branches. Poison drops were dripping from their mouth. And it was the poison drops that appeared like a water hole over there!

On realizing it, the king tossed the bowl away and put the sword back in the sheath and extended his both hands to his pet Falcon. It was the bird who had saved him. Otherwise, he would have consumed the poison and dead by then.

The Falcon swooped down and settled on the outstretched hands of its master!

The King and His Falcon

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