(This post comes in two parts – only ‘cos it was too long to fit in one. I don’t intend to make it into a mega serial or anything. That said, the post could be as boring as a mega serial. Don’t say you weren’t warned)

“Once upon a time, a thirsty crow noticed a huge jar and saw that, at the very bottom, there was a little water. For a long time the crow tried to spill the water out so she can drink some and quench her thirst. After exerting herself for some time in vain, she thought of an idea. She picked some pebbles lying around and tossed them into the jar. As the pebbles settled down at the bottom of the jar, the water rose and eventually, she was able to take a drink”

Now, you should know that it’s not everyday that a crow would do something this clever. The foxes never liked the crows and the swans were wary of them, but the cuckoos, they always made crows feel very stupid. So, naturally, our crow’s ingenuity in fetching water from the jar spread far and wide. Books were written about her, the principles on how the water rose were discussed, several debates were fought and our crow, eventually, went down in history as the crow that fetched water from the jar. The jar became significant too. People wondered what kind of jar it was, how much water it had when the pebbles were dropped, whether it being a pitcher made any difference and so on. Every physics textbook discussed the Water Jar principle in much detail.

Several generations later, though the water jar principle was still much discussed and taught in schools, life wasn’t so difficult for crows as it was earlier. There was water everywhere – in the streams, rivers, fountains, broken municipality pipes, everywhere – and crows never went thirsty. Yet, many crows still liked to drink water from the jars, dropping pebbles into them. Some did it for the fun of it, some said the water from the jar tasted better and some were just curious…

Now, there was this little crow, who flew around all by herself, drinking water from where ever she could get and stealing food from houses, whenever she was hungry. Life was as smooth as it could get and she was happy. She was bored some times, yet she wasn’t troubled. Every now and then, she would hear stories about how the other crows drop pebbles in jars to drink water. She never understood why anyone would want to do that – sit all day long at the brim of a jar, drop pebbles in and wait for the water to rise. The water might taste very good but she knew, for quite sensible she was, that anything could go wrong when dropping the pebbles in and you might never get the water. The jar might be too deep, one of the pebbles might break the jar or the water inside might just evaporate before you got to it. Nevertheless, she was amused by the stories she heard. She was always curious to know what happened to these crows. She was happy for the ones who succeeded in reaching the water, sad for the ones who failed and angry at the ones who broke the jars.

(Continued here)

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