Once upon a time, there lived a magical bird with two heads and one body. As bizarre as it might sound, the bird was certainly a sight for sore eyes. Its body was reminiscent of a pitch-black night, and its neck was the embodiment of a color palette. It had a long, yellow beak, one for each head. Also, each head was adorned with a crown of bright, golden feathers.

One day, the bird was strolling along the river. It felt hungry and began looking for a fruit tree. Suddenly, one of its heads noticed an apple tree. Excited and ecstatic, it sprinted for the tree, dragging the other head along. The poor bird was so famished that it started wolfing down the apples, one after the other. While the first head enjoyed the scrumptious meal, the other head too wanted a taste of those mouth-watering apples. When it asked for a bite, the first head declined saying that no matter which head ate the fruit, it would fill the stomach. Upon the insistence of the second head, the first head refused, asserting that it had the right to consume the fruit as it had spotted the tree first. Looking at the first head selfishly gobbling the fruit, the second one began seething with anger. It now craved for revenge.

After quelling its hunger, the bird decided to head back to its nest. On its way back, the second head came across another fruit tree. It was a purple-fruit tree. Overcome with vengeance, the second head began devouring the fruit without a second thought. Noticing the strange color of the fruit, the first head warned its companion against eating it. The second head, however, was in no mood to pay heed to its words. It simply stated that it would have the fruit as it had found the tree first. The first head fell silent. It had nothing left to say.

Soon, the poison took effect and killed the bird. And thus goes the wise saying that impudence and revenge never benefit anyone. One must learn to share, forgive and forget.

…now that you’re here

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Ananya Susarla, Folk Tale writer at Ameya
Ananya Susarla

Ananya both loves to read and reinterpret folk tales from different parts of the country. Shoot her an email at ananyasusarla2915@gmail.com if you would like to know more about her.

Folk tale adopted and abridged from Folktales of India.