Once upon a time, a lonely hawk lived on a tree by the riverside. He was young and handsome but he had no friends. One day, he saw a beautiful she-hawk sitting on a tree and wanted to marry her but the she-hawk refused to marry him, as he had no friends.
“Will you marry me if I make three friends?” – he asked. She said that she definitely would.
The hawk then went looking for friends. While flying on the other bank of the river, he saw a huge tortoise. The hawk flew down to him and said, “Dear tortoise, will you be my friend and help me in my hour of need?”
The tortoise agreed to become his friend and said, “Call me whenever you need me and I shall come to your side.”
The hawk also promised him his help at any time and then flew in search of the second friend. Soon, he came upon an osprey. The hawk went to it and asked her if she would be his friend and help him in time of his need. The osprey very gladly accepted his friendship and offered her help whenever he needed it.
The hawk was glad that he had made two friends.
He went on searching for a third friend. He flew over the jungle and saw a tiger. Fearless as he was, he went near the tiger and requested him to be his friend. The tiger readily accepted his friendship and said, “From now onwards, I am your friend. Nobody will harm you. If anyone tries to harm you, call me and I will be there to help you.”
The hawk was very happy. He thanked the tiger, flew back to the she-hawk and said, “I have made three friends, a tortoise, an osprey and a tiger. Will you marry me now?”
The she-hawk agreed to marry him. Soon, their marriage took place. The three friends attended the hawk’s marriage.
After few months, she-hawk gave birth to two baby hawks. The parent hawks were very happy to have cute little babies. They lived happily in their nest.
One day, two hunters came and sat under that tree. They were tired and hungry. They had not been able to hunt any animal. They decided to catch some fish. But, they couldn't catch even a single fish.
It was getting dark and the hunters decided to spend the night under that tree. To keep themselves warm, they lit a fire. The fire soared high. The hawk-babies on the tree could not bear the heat and the smoke coming out of the fire. They started crying. The Hunters heard their cries. One of them said, "There are birds on this tree. Let us catch them. We shall roast them on the fire and eat them.” The other one agreed.
The hawks heard them and were really worried about the safety of their babies. The she-hawk suggested that they seek help from their friends. The hawk went to the osprey and told her his problem. The osprey said, “Go home and protect your babies. I shall tackle with the hunters.”
The osprey dived into the river and then flew over the fire. The water from her wet feathers fell on the fire. She repeatedly dived into the river and flew over the fire. The water from her feathers put off the fire.
The hunters decided to light the fire again; however, as soon as they lit the fire, again the osprey put it off.
In the meantime, the hawk went to get help from the tortoise. When the tortoise heard about the hawk’s problem, he said to him, “Do not worry dear friend, I will be there in no time and tackle the hunters in my own way. Go and protect your family.”
The hawk flew to the tree and the tortoise reached the tree. He went quite close to where the hunters were sitting and trying to light the fire again. The hunters saw the tortoise and one of them said, “Look there is a huge tortoise. Let’s forget about the hawks and catch this tortoise.”
The other hunter agreed and said, “Let’s tear our shirts and make a rope. We shall tie its one end to the tortoise and other to our waists. Then we will pull the tortoise with all our strength.” The other hunter liked the idea. Soon, they make a rope out of their shirts. They tied one end of the rope to the tortoise’s legs. Then, trying the other end to their waist, they could not pull the tortoise. The tortoise’s strength was much greater than the two hunters were together.
The tortoise pulled the two men into the water. Once, inside the water, it was very easy for the tortoise to drag them. With great efforts, they cut the rope that was tied to their waist and swam back to the bank. They were now feeling very cold. They had lost their shirts. They thought of making a fire again.
Seeing them collecting leaves and twigs, the hawk was worried again. He flew to the forest and called his third friend, the tiger. He found the tiger at the edge of the forest. When the tiger heard the hawk’s problem, he immediately rushed towards the riverbank.
The hunter had now lti the fire and one of them was preparing to climb the tree to get the hawk babies. Just then, the tiger reached the tree. Seeing the tiger, the hunters ran from there and never came back again.
The hawk thanked all his three friends for their kind and timely help. He also realized that it is very important to have at least a few friends. The female-hawk was very wise in advising the hawk to make friends before marrying him.