White Wing: Tale of the Doves & the Hunter
Illustrated By: Jacob Below
Listen while you read along! Thanks to Elderberry Tales.
One day long ago in India, a hunter came to a big tree. This tree was so big that its branches turned back down and went right into the ground again. Then new baby trees would grow up from those very spots. Have you ever seen such a thing? Trees that do that are called “banyan” trees.
“Ah!” said the hunter when he saw that big banyan tree. “That looks just right for my net. I will catch a lot of birds today.”
The hunter threw his net over the tree. The strings in the net sank down into the branches. You could not see the net any more. Then the clever hunter put grains of rice all over the leaves. The grains of rice were easy to see, even from far away.
Just then, White Wing, king of the doves, was flying overhead with all of his doves flying behind him. He saw that banyan tree below. “Wow!” said White Wing, spinning around. “This must be our lucky day! Look at all the rice on that tree.”
White Wing flew down to the banyan tree. The doves spun around behind him and followed him to the tree, too. But oh no! As soon as they all landed on the tree, each one was trapped in the net!
Someone was glad to see this. “Well, well!” said the hunter. Look at all these doves! I will have myself a fine dinner.”
Seeing him, the doves cried out, “It is over for us!”
“Wait, wait!” said White Wing. “There is a way for us to get free. But we must act together.”
“What can we do?” cried a dove.
“The hunter is almost here!”
“Alone, none of us can lift this net,” said White Wing. “It’s too big and heavy.”
“We know, we know!” cried the doves.
“But if we all fly up together at the same time,” said White Wing, “we can lift this net. We will fly it to the city, past these woods. I know a mouse who lives there. He is a dear friend, and I am sure he will help free us by chewing through the net.”
“Look, the hunter!” cried a dove.
“Everyone,” yelled White Wing. “Now!”
At once, all of the doves flew up. Together, they lifted the net right up out of the banyan tree.
The hunter could not believe his eyes. All the birds he was going to have at dinner were flying up high into the sky – and they were taking his net with them!
White Wing and the doves flew with the net over the woods and to the city. There, Wing Wing found his friend the mouse, and the mouse freed them, one and all.