Veeraswamy Krishnaraj
பஞ்சதந்திரம் pañca-tantiram , n. pañcan +. The Tamil version of Pañca-tantra consisting of five books, viz., mittira-pētam1, cukirl- lāpam2, canti-vikkirakam3, artta-nācam4, acampirēṭciya-kārittuvam5; (= மித்திரபேதம்1, சுகிர்ல்லாபம்2, சந்திவிக்கிரகம்3, அர்த்தநாசம்4, அசம்பிரேட்சியகாரித்துவம்5 ) என ஐம்பகுதியுடையதாய்த் தமிழில் மொழிபெயர்க் கப்பட்ட நூல்.
1. மித்திரபேதம் =
mittira-pētam = Sowing discord among friends.
2. சுகிர்ல்லாபம் = cukir-l-lāpam = the acquisition of friends.
3. சந்திவிக்கிரகம் canti-vikkirakam = Associating with a foe with a view to ruin him.
4. அர்த்தநாசம் artta-nācam = Loss of wealth.
5. அசம்பிரேட்சியகாரித்துவம் a-campirēṭciya-kārittuvam , n. a-sam-prēkṣya-kāri-tva. Action without forethought.
By Veeraswamy Krishnaraj
The crane having poked, picked and ate the fish daily, became fat. One day, the crane went to the lake to catch fish but met a depressed white crab.
The crane to the White crab: Why are you so sad?
The crab: The fishermen with their fishing nets caught all fish including the fingerlings in the nearby lakes and ponds. I heard them talking they will visit this lake tomorrow and sell the catch in the fish market. I am pondering how to escape from their perilous nets and hands and heart.
The crane: My dear crab! My dear white crab! I have an escape plan on hand, before those vile fishermen arrive tomorrow. My plan will save all the fish and those poor hapless fingerlings.
The crane: What plan? Tell me quickly. I cannot wait to hear it. Somehow, you persuade and bring those fish close to the water’s edge and I will pick them one by one with my beak and take them to another pond.
Believing the crane, the crab jumped into the lake and told them the crane’s offer to rescue them from the fishermen. They jumped for joy and agreed to the plan.
The crab that killed the crane
The fish came to the water’s edge; the crane took the fish one by one, flew away, ate them to appease its hunger and casts the others on a stone to dry.
What was left was the white crab for transportation to the other pond. The crane, being a crab lover, picked up the crab, and flew towards the other pond. On the way, the crab saw neat rows of fish drying on the rock. The crab understood the crane’s hypocrisy and feared for its own life. Thinking it should kill before being killed by the crane, the crab extended its front legs, caught hold of the crane's neck and squeezed it. The crane fell down breathless and died. The crab ambled to another pond and joined his kind.
The lesson is you can overcome an enmity and trickery by counter-trickery.