Emi and the Owl

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Emi, a king-swan, lived by a lake in a dense forest. He spent his time looking for food and swimming in the clear blue and cool water of the lake. One day as it happens to all who are old, Death came to visit Emi in the guise of an owl. Emi saw the owl and enquired, “Oh wise one, what brings you to this dense forest ? Where do you come from?”

The owl replied. “Emi, I am here to meet you whose virtue I have heard of in my land.”

“You are welcome, 0 wise one, to stay with me by this beautiful lake as long as you feel like,” said Emi.

Thus Emi and the owl became best friends and spent their days together by the beautiful lakeside.

Then, one day, the owl addressed Emi, “Dear friend, I must now leave for my home in Lotus Grove. Do pay me a visit whenever you desire.” Saying this the owl left for his homeland.

After a few days Emi started feeling the absence of his friend, the owl. He thought to himself, “Now that I have grown old I realize I have not seen any place but this lakeside in this forest. I must see the world before I grow too old to move. I shall visit my friend, the owl, in Lotus Grove to start with. I am missing him terribly.” The next morning, Emi, the king-swan, flew to Lotus Grove to meet the owl. He looked for the owl everywhere but in vain. Soon he saw him in a tree hole. The owl was resting there as owls do in daytime, for all owls are blind by daytime. Emi called out, “dear owl, here I am Emi, your friend. Do come out to meet me.”

“Dear Emi, I am glad you have come but I shall meet you at sunset I can only see in the dark,” replied the owl.

At sunset the owl and the king-swan met each other and had a hearty meal and took account of their time apart. The weary swan then slept at the foot of the tree.

Unknown to the two friends, a caravan of gypsies had camped near by. At the break of dawn, the leader of the gypsies blew a conch-shell to rouse his sleepy friends. The owl replied to the conch-call with a harsh and loud owl-call — a piercing hoot. The owl flew away from its tree hole even as Emi was enjoying a sound sleep.

At the inauspicious owl-call the leader ordered the culprit to be shot down by an arrow. An expert archer, who could shoot an arrow at the source of a sound, soon drew and shot an arrow at the tree. The old king-swan who was sleeping there was hit by the arrow. Thus his end came by the inevitable visit of Death in the guise of the owl.


Death has no calendar

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