~ 199. The Wild Parrots of India ~

A merchant told his pet parrot that he was going to India. 
"Find my wild kindred," she said, "and tell them of my life here."
The merchant thus spoke to the wild Indian parrots, and as soon as he finished speaking, they fell down dead.
On his return, the merchant sadly told his parrot what had happened.
Then his own parrot fell down dead.
When he lifted the corpse from the cage, grieving for his poor pet, the parrot fluttered her wings; she was not dead at all.
"My kindred showed me the way!" she said, flying away to freedom.

Inspired by: The English prose version of Rumi in Tales from the Masnavi by A. J. Arberry, 7.
Notes: Compare a similar story about the Buddha: Fat Quail and Thin.

A painting from Iran, 18th-century:

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