THE VISIT OF THE SWAN
Once there lived a swan by the side of a big lake. The lake was situated in the middle of a dense forest.

The swan was passing his days happily, until one day, an owl came there. He drank the water of the lake and started living there.

"This is an isolated place," said the swan to the owl. "Besides, the lake goes dry during the summer season. It is better that you go to some other place to live in."

But the owl stayed on there saying that he loved calm and quiet places; moreover, he liked the company of the swan.

"All right," replied the swan. "I too like your company. At least, there will be someone to talk to."

So, the owl lived happily in his company for months together. But, when the summer arrived in all its vigour and the lake really went dry in due course, the owl thought of returning home. He thanked the swan for the nice company given by him and said with a heavy heart, "Dear friend, I am leaving this place now, since the lake has gone dry and there is no water available here. I would like you too to come along with me; because you too can't live without water." "Thanks," said the sawn, "in fact there is a small river that flows half a mile away from here; I shall go and stay there. When the river also goes dry, I shall come and join you and once again we will be enjoying each other's loving company." "All right," said the owl, "there is a big river, a few miles away from here. And on its bank there is a big banyan tree; I live in it."

And then, once again, thanking the swan for his nice company and hospitality, the owl flew away.

The swan shifted to the small river and began living there.

After many days, when the small river also went dry and the swan felt lonely, he decided to meet the owl. One evening the swan flew and reached the banyan tree, the home of the owl. The owl was glad to receive the swan. He served tasty food and fresh water to his honoured guest.

The swan was tired because of his long journey. He took his meals and went to sleep early. The owl perched itself on the same branch, a little away from where the swan slept.

Just then a few travellers came to rest under the tree. The sun had set. It was near dark all around. The half moon shone in the sky. Seeing the travellers the owl hooted sharply. The travellers took it as a bad omen. One of the travellers shot an arrow at the owl. As the owl could see in the dark, he ducked the arrow and flitted away.

The arrow, instead, pierced the swan who was fast asleep at that time. The swan dropped dead on the ground.
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