~ 177. Valmiki Becomes a Poet ~

Two cranes, devoted to one another, lived by a river near the rishi Valmiki's ashram.
One day as Valmiki watched the birds making love, a hunter shot an arrow from the bushes. One crane fell to the ground, dead, and his mate screamed in grief as she gazed at his blood-spattered corpse.
In anger and sorrow at this reckless slaughter, Valmiki cursed the hunter in verse:
      The hunter who this loving bird did slay
      For his great crime a grievous price will pay.
These lines of verse were the first poem in the world, and Valmiki was the first poet.

Inspired by: The Ramayana (Bala Kanda).
Notes: Here is a link to the Sanskrit of the verses that Valmiki spoke to the hunter; there's even audio you can listen to.

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