A rhinoceros who lived by the lake was very possessive of his surroundings. He shooed away any creatures who dared step into his territory, threatening them with his great horn.
One day, unaware of the rhino’s mean nature, two sparrows built a nest on a tree near the lake. The rhino, who was sleeping while the sparrows built their nest, did not notice them. Also, the nest was built on a branch where the leaves grew thickly, so the poor sparrows thought they were safe and sat down happily to hatch their eggs.
One windy day, when the rhino looked up at the tree, he saw the nest parted by the gusts of wind. He was furious. He thought, ‘How dare these sparrows build a home on my land! I will teach them a lesson.’
He started hitting the tree with his horn and the tree began to shake vigorously. The helpless sparrows pleaded with the rhino to stop, but he wouldn’t listen. Soon the nest fell down, scattering to pieces and the eggs broke. The sparrows flew away in grief and sat on an old tree far away from the lake venting out their anger and sorrow.
An owl who had a home on the tree, listened to the sparrows. He said, ‘I have heard enough about the rhino’s meanness. We have to teach him a lesson and put an end to his atrocities.’
He called a myna, a woodpecker and a frog and discussed a plan with them. As advised by the owl, the myna hid himself in a thick tree and started to sing. The rhino was soothed by the song and fell asleep. The woodpecker flew down softly but forcefully and pierced the eyes of the rhino.
The rhino howled in pain and rushed blindly in search of water. The frog climbed up on a small hill of hard rock and croaked loudly. The rhino was deceived into thinking that the lake was in the direction of the frog’s croaking and he headed there, crashing into the hill and dying instantly.
Moral: Intelligence often defeats physical strength.