Story Contest 2017 #1 - Outstanding Stories » The Mighty Banyan Tree
“The Mighty Banyan Tree” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2017 written by A. Sravani, India.
The Mighty Banyan Tree
Hai, I am a banyan tree. I have been living in a forest for hundreds of years. In my childhood, the forest was very big and thick. Many animals lived in it. Due to humans, the forest decreased. Do you know how old was I am. May be the ‘Halley comet’ has gone over me more than 12 times, that’s how old I am.
Once all the birds who were living on my branches held a meeting. The peacock, the leader of the birds presided the meeting. He said, “Today we all met here to decide who the most beautiful bird among us is”. Again, he said “Of course, you all know that I am the most beautiful bird in the world”.
The parrot said, “I have a curved red beak and beautiful green feathers so I’m the most beautiful bird among us”
The cuckoo said “I can sing sweetly and my tail is very beautiful like a fan” and so I am the most beautiful”.
The dove said, “I can travel and pass messages to distant places, and I am the symbol of peace”
Like this every bird told their greatness, but the crow and eagle did not say a word. All the birds looked at them and said “Both of you have nothing to tell about yourselves, because you are ugly and dangerous birds. You steal our eggs, kill the young chicks and destroy our nests. We should send these birds far from our nests”, said all the birds unanimously.
The poor crow and eagle decided to go. “Stop my dear friends. Don’t go” I said angrily. Everybody looked around and asked themselves where the voice had come from, “I am the banyan tree” I said. All the birds looked at me.
“Hey peacock, why do you say that you are the most beautiful? You cannot fly high, so your enemies can easily catch you. Your beauty can not save your life.” Listening to this the peacock felt ashamed and became quiet.
“Hey, Parrot and Dove, people put you in cages. You know very well how bad it is to stay in cages.
“Hey Cuckoo, of course you can swing sweetly. Do you know how to survive? You don’t know how to build a nest, hatch the eggs and feed your chicks. The poor crow does all this. You should be grateful to him.”
“The crow warns you from danger. As the eagle was here, the snakes do not dare to eat your eggs and chicks. And because they eat all the dead animals and rotten foliage in the forest, you are safe from many diseases.
All the birds realized their mistake and asked the crow and eagle to forgive them. They also requested them not to leave. Since then all the birds lived together happily.
One day a wood cutter wanted to cut a small tree. I requested him not to cut it down. But he did not listen. He lifted the axe to chop. I felt angry and threw a branch at him. His leg hurt so badly that he could not walk. In the evening, his wife came and took him home. Since that day his wife used to collect fruits, nuts and root bulbs from the forest. She sold some of them and some she kept as food. After eating the fruits and nuts, they used to throw the seeds in the backyard. Years passed. The seeds germinated into big plants. They became big trees bearing fruits and nuts. Now she was not going into the forest for fruits. She was collecting from her backyard. In the meanwhile, the woodcutter’s leg was also cured. They learnt a lesson, that by growing trees also they could survive happily.
My dear children, from the above incidents, you should know our behavior decides our greatness. Our behavior reveals our character. Every creature has their own skills. We should respect everyone. We should not go against nature. Nature means the Almighty. You should respect and obey it. You must save the trees. Civilizations were born from forests, so be clever and save our planet. Everything should be in balance or we all perish without the help of each other.