37. The Hawk and the Fish
A hawk had caught a fish.
Holding the fish in his talons, he rose up from the water, ready to fly home and enjoy his meal.
But crows suddenly swarmed all around him, a hundred or more, each one trying to snatch the fish.
The hawk flew up and he flew down... still the crows pursued him.
Left and right... the crows kept on chasing him.
Finally, the hawk let go of the fish.
The crows all flew off, chasing after the fish and leaving the hawk alone.
He settled on a branch and sighed thankfully, "At last, I'm free."
Inspired by: Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna
Notes: This is story 14 in the book. The story is told about a "kite" but since people get confused about that word sometimes in English, I switched it to a more generic "hawk." In story 166, Ramakrishna presents this as an event witnessed by a holy man (avadhuta), who regarded the kite as his guru, and spoke these words to the bird: "Thou art my Guru, for thou hast taught me that peace of mind is possible in this world, only when one has given up one's adjuncts; otherwise there is danger at every step."