A LEGEND OF THE JATAKA
FROM THE RIVERSIDE FOURTH READER
 AGES ago a flock of more than a thousand quails lived
together in a forest in India. They would have been happy,
but that they were in great dread of their enemy, the
quail-catcher. He used to imitate the call of the quail; and
when they gathered together in answer to it, he would throw
a great net over them, stuff them into his basket, and carry
them away to be sold.
Now, one of the quails was very wise, and he said:—
"Brothers! I've thought of a good plan. In future, as soon
as the fowler throws his net over us, let each one put his
head through a mesh in the net and then all lift it up
together and fly away with it. When we have flown far
enough, we can let the net drop on a thorn bush and escape
from under it."
All agreed to the plan; and next day when the fowler threw
his net, the birds all lifted it together in the very way
that the wise quail had told them, threw it on a thorn bush
and escaped. While the fowler tried to free his net from the
thorns, it grew dark, and he had to go home.
This happened many days, till at last the
 fowler's wife grew angry and asked her husband:—
"Why is it that you never catch any more quail?"
Then the fowler said: "The trouble is that all the birds
work together and help one another. If they would only
quarrel, I could catch them fast enough."
A few days later, one of the quails accidentally trod on the
head of one of his brothers, as they alighted on the
"Who trod on my head?" angrily inquired the quail who was
"Don't be angry, I did n't mean to tread on you," said the
But the brother quail went on quarreling.
"I lifted all the weight of the net; you did n't help at
all," he cried.
That made the first quail angry, and before long all were
drawn into the dispute. Then the fowler saw his chance. He
imitated the cry of the quail and cast his net over those
who came together. They were still boasting and quarreling,
and they did not help one another lift the net. So the
hunter lifted the net himself and crammed them into his
basket. But the wise quail gathered his friends together and
flew far away, for he knew that quarrels are the root of