The Golden Swan – Children Story in English [Jatak Katha] 

Written by Swati Joshi

March 24, 2020

Long, long ago, there lived a Swan in a pond. We all know that a Swan is a beautiful bird but, this Swan had dazzling golden feathers that made her look extraordinary. There was a house near the pond. A poor lady with her two daughters lived in this house. They were so poor that they hardly got to eat everyday. The lady and her daughters were leading a very miserable life.

The Golden Swan had observed that the family was having a really tough time. She thought, “Oh God, What a pity! They’re my neighbors and I really should help them come out this situation. If I give them one of my golden feathers, the lady can sell them to raise some money. It would help them live a bit more comfortably.”

Having this thought in mind, the Swan flew to the poor lady’s house. She saw the Swan and said, “O dear Swan, why have you come here? I am so sorry that I’m unable to offer you anything.” 

The Swan said, “No, no my friend, I haven’t come here to ask for anything, but I have something to give you instead. I’ve witnessed your condition very closely and I know that you and your daughters are leading a pathetic life. 

I want to offer you one of my golden feathers so that you can sell them and raise some money. It will help you make your life easier.” The woman stood astound. The generous Golden Swan shed one of her feathers and flew away.

This became a routine now, the Swan used to give the lady a golden feather every time she needed it. By selling those feathers, the lady and her daughters started living in comfort. Each golden feather helped them get enough money for buying plenty facilities. But, as it’s said that the more you get, the more you want; the lady had become greedy and she started thinking about getting all the feathers at once. 

One day, while having lunch, she said to her daughters, “We were living a very difficult life and I never want those days to return. Now, what if the Swan stops providing us with the golden feathers? What if she flies away and never comes back? No, no I don’t want to take any chance. I don’t want us to be poor again. We should take all her feathers as soon as possible. We must do it when she comes next time.” 

The daughters were kind hearted, they argued, “No mother, we should not. It will hurt the Swan. How can we cause pain to her who has helped us come out of misery?”

But, the wicked mother was determined to seize all the feathers the very next time the Swan comes by.

Soon, the Swan visited and was caught by the cruel lady. She plucked out all the golden feathers and the Swan was left in severe pain. But, what’s this? The golden feathers started changing the color and became some creepy plumage. The lady and her daughters were shocked to see such a transformation of the feathers.

The Golden Swan said, “O vile woman,What have you done? I used to help you and you tried to kill me. I was willingly giving you the golden feathers but now, I am not going to help you anymore. The feathers you’ve pulled out are of no value and are not more than ordinary feathers. I’m leaving this place from today and will never come back.”

The lady and her daughters felt sorry and repented for the mistake they made. But, what was done was done the Golden Swan flew away! All the three stood gazing the Swan going away.

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This Jataka tale here tells us that excess greed brings nothing but grief. Material greed deprives us from wisdom. Need can be fulfilled but greed can never be. So, one should never forget of drawing a fine line between need and greed!

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