The bird with two heads – [A Panchatantra Tale]

Written by Swati Joshi

April 6, 2020

Once upon a time, there was a huge banyan tree beside a river where a strange bird lived.

The bird was unique as it had two heads, but only one stomach.

Once, the bird was wandering around and flying high in the sky. It saw some shiny, red thing on the river bed. The bird came down quickly and picked it up. It was a fruit. The bird had never seen such a wonderful fruit. He started eating it. It was the most delicious fruit the bird had ever eaten.

The second head saw this. It demanded to have some portion of that fruit. It said, “How could you eat that alone? It’s not good. I’m your twin head. Why don’t you share the tasty fruit with me? I also want some.”

The first head replied, “Be quiet! Why are you complaining so much? I know we’re twin heads, but don’t you know that we’ve the same stomach? Whichever head eats it, the fruit will go to the same stomach. So, it’s not important as to which head eats it. Besides that, I’m the one who found this fruit. So, it’s my right to have it.”

The second head on hearing this, felt very bad. It didn’t say anything at that time, but it became anxious because of such greedy behavior shown by the first head.

One day, the bird was flying in the sky enjoying the cool breeze.And suddenly the second head saw something. It was a tree loaded with fruits. The bird rapidly got down towards the tree. It plucked one fruit and was about to eat it when the first head shouted, “STOP!”

The first head stopping the second head said, “You must not eat this fruit. Don’t you know this tree bears the poisonous fruits? If you eat this fruit, both of us will die at once.”

The second head, gazing at the fruit pretended as if it was not listening.
The first head in a pleading voice, “Please think again, we share a common stomach so, if you’d eat this toxic fruit, it will kill us both. Why are you behaving so cruelly?”

“Shut up!” shouted the second head. “Look, who’s talking about cruel behavior now? As I’ve seen and plucked this fruit, I’ve every right to eat it. Nothing would change my mind.”

The first head kept on begging and crying but the other head did not listen to his twin head. He wanted to take revenge. He ate that poisonous fruit and as it was to happen, both of them died on the spot!

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This Panchatantra story here tells us that an individual ego in a family would harm each of the members. Quarreling with our own people affects the whole family badly! It’s like if we chop one finger, it would harm the whole hand. So, for staying united, we should avoid having a state of two different minds!

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