Once upon a time, a flock of doves under the leadership of their king were flying in search of food. Finally, the littlest bird, who brought in the rear, gave a sqawk. She had just spotted some grains of rice, scattered under a banyan tree.
Gladly, the flock alighted and set to feed with a will. Suddenly, a weight fell over them. Looking up they were aghast to find that they were trapped in a fine cloth net.
“Oh, dear,” cried the littlest one. “We are doomed.”
The doves were doubly scared when they saw a hunter approaching them, carrying a huge club. The king counselled his flock to remain calm, and gave them a brilliant plan. “Let us each hold a bit of the net with our beaks and fly away with it. Together, we will be able to bear the weight of the net.”
The hunter had almost reached them when to his astonishment the net and the birds suddenly lifted up and were gone out of his reach. Yelling with shock, he chased them but the birds went higher and higher and were soon a distant blur.
The birds alighted near a temple, where the king’s friend, a mouse, lived. The dove king asked the mouse to gnaw at the net with his strong teeth so that they could get out.
Willingly, the mouse set to work and very soon the birds were all free. Gladly, they thanked the mouse and their noble king before flying away together, strong in their unity.