There lived a flock of wild geese in a very tall tree. The tree was in a dense forest in the foothills of the Himalayas. The tall tree had many leafy branches that spread out like strong arms. Among the geese was an old wise bird who noticed that there was a small creeper growing at the foot of the tree. He showed the creeper to the others and said, “We must destroy it. One day it will grow big and then the hunters can easily climb up and kill us.” But the other birds did not pay heed to his advice. They said it would be a pity to cut a small creeper. “But when it grows up, it will become strong and hard to cut,” the old wise bird said. “We’ll see,” said the others and promptly forgot all about it.
As time passed, the creeper grew taller and stronger and winded its way up the tree just as the old goose had once said. One day when the geese had gone out in search of food, a hunter climbed up the tree with the help of the creeper and laid his net there. In the evening when the geese returned, they found themselves trapped in the net, much to their shock. They tried hard to get out but failed. They cried for help but there was no one to hear their cries. The night passed in fear and worry. The old wise bird said, “I had warned you all to cut off the creeper but you did not listen. This is the result of your own folly. Tomorrow morning the hunter will come and kill us all.” The birds realised that they had been foolish in not listening to the wise bird and said they were sorry. They had learnt a big lesson. Then the wise bird said, “I’ll tell you of a plan to escape. Listen carefully. Tomorrow morning when the hunter comes to take his net, be very still and pretend you are dead. He will not want dead birds so he will throw us to the ground. Before he climbs down, we must all quickly fly away. That is the only way we can escape now.”
The geese waited eagerly for the morning to arrive. The hunter came early next morning with his son. He was glad to see that he had caught so many geese. But when he climbed up the creeper, he saw that they were all dead. So, he threw the geese to the ground one by one while his son watched. Whoosh! All the geese flapped up in the air and flew away. The hunter and his son were left staring after the geese, shocked and puzzled by the sight.