Good Company, Bad Company
Two parrots built a nest in a banyan tree. They lived with their two young ones, which they took good care of. The mother and the father parrot went out to gather food in the morning and came back home by evening. One day, when their parents were away, the young parrots were taken by a cruel hunter. One of the birds managed to escape and flew away from the hunter. He ended up at a hermitage and grew up listening to kind words and compassion. The hunter put the other parrot in a cage, and soon it learned a few words and phrases. The hunter and his family were crude and didn’t care much about kind words. One day, a passerby was resting outside the hunter’s hut. Sensing someone outside, the parrot said, Fool, why are you here? Fool! Leave! I’ll cut your throat. Scared, the traveler went away, and on his journey, he reached the hermitage where the other parrot was. The parrot at the hermitage spoke, Welcome traveler. You are free to stay here as long as you want.
Surprised, the traveler told the parrot that he encountered a similar parrot elsewhere and it was very cruel. How is that you are so kind? The parrot replied, That must be my brother. I live with the sages, and my brother lives with hunters. I learned the sage’s language, and my brother learned the hunter’s language. The company we keep decides who we will be.
Moral: Keep good company if you want to be a good person.
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