The Wit of the Woodpecker

- February 11, 2022


By Srinidhi Murthy

One day in the forest, a tiger, enjoying his meal, got a bone stuck in his jaw. He couldn’t get it out no matter how hard he tried. The tiger was distressed. He thought,

“I will not be able to eat anything unless I get this bone out.”

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Days passed. The tiger became weaker and weaker due to starvation. A  woodpecker living on a nearby tree approached him and asked why he was lying with his mouth open. In response, the tiger pointed out the bone in his mouth. Understanding the tiger’s problem, the woodpecker decided to make a deal with him. The woodpecker told the tiger that he would remove the bone if the latter promised to give the former a share in the flesh of animals he kills. The tiger agreed immediately and the woodpecker removed the bone from his mouth.

 Relieved from the discomfort, the hungry tiger happily went hunting. A few hours later, he returned with his prey and started devouring it. The woodpecker saw this and asked for his share, as per the deal. 

Script: C.R. Sharma and Kamala Chandrakant, Illustration: Ashok Dongre
Script: C.R. Sharma and Kamala Chandrakant, Illustration: Ashok Dongre

The tiger laughed at him and said,

“You know I am a wild animal. I could have easily eaten you when you entered my mouth. I didn’t and so you should be grateful for that.”

The woodpecker was furious when he realized the fact that he had been used by the tiger for his own benefit. 

He waited patiently till the tiger began to doze off, after the heavy meal. The woodpecker swiftly pecked one of the eyes of the tiger, blinding him in one eye. The tiger growled in pain and asked why the woodpecker was so cruel to him. To this, the witty woodpecker replied,

“You know I have a sharp beak. I could have easily blinded both of your eyes. But I didn’t and you should be grateful for that.”

Read more animal stories in our Panchatantra and Jataka collections, now available on the ACK Comics app, Flipkart, Amazon, and other major e-tailers. 

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