Four friends: a deer, a tortoise, a crow and a mouse are worried about the hunter's traps. Will they outwit him?
Narration: Pala Pajor
Illustrations: Jyothi Fucile
Music: Holger Jetter
THE FOUR FRIENDS
Far from any town, there was a forest, in which all the animals and birds lived together peacefully. The forest was home to four inseparable friends: a deer, a tortoise, a crow and a mouse. Every evening they met to discuss the events of the day.
But one day, the deer became very frightened. “Hunters are laying traps everywhere. Is there anything we can do to escape?” “Yes there is,” the crow cried out. “As our friend the mouse knows!” The crow began telling everyone what he had seen. “Just the other day, I saw the most amazing thing. A flock of doves got trapped in a hunter’s net, their wings flapping wildly. Then suddenly, all together, the doves picked up the net in their beaks and flew into the sky. And where did they go? Straight to our friend the mouse! With his sharp teeth, he tore the net to pieces. Free at last, the doves flew away. They were very grateful to our friend.”
After the story ended, the deer went in search of water while the three friends started nibbling on the fruits, shrubs and leaves of the forest. They chatted late into the night, still waiting for the deer to return. But the deer was nowhere to be seen, and the friends began to worry.
At dawn, while the others called out to the deer, the crow flew in every direction looking for her. In a clearing, he spotted the deer with her foot caught in a net. “Don’t worry,” he told her calmly. “We’ll think of something.” The crow rushed back to his friends. The tortoise had an idea: “Mouse, hop quickly on the crow’s back.” And they flew off to rescue the deer.
Without wasting time, the mouse bit through the net. Just then, the anxious tortoise reached the spot. “Why did you come here? If the hunter returns, you’ll never escape!” the deer exclaimed. And the hunter did return! Hearing his footsteps, all of them ran away, but the tortoise was too slow. The hunter picked him up and tied him to a stick.
“Oh no! Because of me, poor tortoise is in trouble,” said the deer. Suddenly, the deer leaped up and ran to the pond near the path. She lay down absolutely still, while the crow pecked at her. When the hunter dropped the tortoise and picked up the deer, the mouse quickly cut the cords and released the tortoise. While the tortoise slipped into the water, the deer darted off and the crow simply flew away. The hunter trembled with fear. He had never seen an animal come back to life. Thinking that the forest was haunted, he ran for his life. The four friends went home and were happy to be together again.
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