There was a young Sultan who was very proud of his wisdom. “Anything I do, I do after a good deal of thought”, he always say this.
His courtiers who were always eager to please him, said in a chorus, “Oh Yes, Your Highness, who can question your wisdom!”.
There was only one man who wouldn’t keep quiet. He is none other than Sultan’s old Minister. When an opportunity came, he would say, ‘My Young Lord, we should not do anything in haste!’.
The Sultan didn’t understand why his minister thought it necessary to repeat this advice to him always.
Sultan had a pet falcon. It was a very clever bird and most helpful to him, particularly at the time of hunting. It circled above his head and gave him indications where an animal of prey was stationed. It gave different signals if any danger was nearby. The Sultan rarely parted from his pet. It was his favorite.
One day Sultan was in the forest with his hunting party. They chanced upon a very attractive dear. At once his followers threw a ring around the deer.
“Look here, anyone by whose side the dear escapes will die” shouted Sultan. That alerted every member of the party. Each one got ready to shoot his arrow at the deer if it happened to pass by him.
The deer bent his forelegs and appeared to bow down. Before Sultan was understood what it was going to do, it took a swift leap. It jumped out of the ring right over the Sultan’s head!
The Sultan felt extremely uncomfortable. He had threatened to kill anyone who would let the deer pass. Now the dear had escaped leaping over his own head.
“I must capture or kill the dear” he announced and galloped on his horse in the direction of the deer.
The horse was no less swift than the deer. But in the forest it was easier for a deer to move about than a horse. For two hours, the King galloped non-stop pursuing the deer. Needless to say, he could keep track of the deer because of his falcon. It flew exactly the way the dear went.
Atlast, the Sultan came to the end of the forest. There the thickest were so dense. The sultan could now take aim at the deer. He shot an arrow and the deer felt dead.
Though happy, the Sultan was extremely tired. He sat down on a rock. Behind him was a hillock. The falcon sat down on it.
Being thirsty, Sultan looked around for water. His eyes fell on a big leaf which looked like a cup. On it had accumulated a little water, drops falling from a bush on the hillock.
He knew that the little water cannot quench his thirst, but atleast he could moisten his tongue with it. He broke the leaf carefully and lifted at his mouth.
‘Stupid bird, is this the way to quench your own thirst?’ Sultan said angrily.
Water was still falling in drops. He collected a little more of it by the help of another leaf. Again the falcon made a swoop. The leaf fell off the Sultan’s hands. The angry Sultan drew his sword and struck the bird with its sharp edge. The bird fell bleeding and dying.
The sultan climbed the hillock to trace the source of the water. What he saw was shocking! The water was nothing but the saliva of huge serpent that lay atop the hillock. Had he consumed it, he would have died. That is why the faithful falcon had prevented him from licking the content of the leaf.
Not far from the spot, there was a spring. The Sultan quenched his thirst drinking from it. But he was too broken-hearted to do so. He rushed back to his falcon and swooned away, holding on its lap.
The Sultan remained sad for long. He now understood how hasty he had been in his actions. He now realized why his old minister warned him again and again.