Ja 275 The Story about the Pretty (Crane)
(Rucirajātaka [Rucirajātaka had no title in the print edition. This title is taken from the text.])
In the present one monk is very greedy. The Buddha tells how this monk was also greedy in a previous life when, as a crow, he deceived his friend the pigeon in order to get access to a kitchen, which he stole from. But there the cook caught and plucked him and left him to die.
1. Kāyaṁ balākā rucirā kākanīḷasmim-acchati?
Caṇḍo kāko sakhā mayhaṁ, yassa cetaṁ kulāvakaṁ.
Who is the pretty crane living in the crow’s nesting place? Fierce is the crow my friend, and this is his nest.
2. Nanu maṁ samma jānāsi, dija sāmākabhojana,
Akatvā vacanaṁ tuyhaṁ, passa lūnosmi āgato ti.
Surely you know me, dear friend, twice-born, eater of millet, by not doing your command, after coming, see me being plucked.
3. Punapāpajjasī samma, sīlañ-hi tava tādisaṁ,
Na hi mānusakā bhogā subhuñjā honti pakkhinā ti.
Again you will suffer, dear friend, such is your character, the wealth of human beings cannot be enjoyed by birds.
In this connection: pretty, this is said in regard to the white colour of the body smeared with buttermilk. Pretty, dear-looking, pale, this is the meaning.
In the crow’s nesting place means in the crow’s nest. “In the crow’s nest,” is another reading. There is variant readings with these two words in the texts, it also occurs at Dhp 148.
Twice-born, the crow calls on the pigeon.
Eater of millet means eater of grass seeds. Indeed here by eater of millet all grass seeds are included.
In this connection, again you will suffer, dear friend, dear friend crow, again you will surely undergo such suffering, there is no such freedom for you.
What is the reason? Such is your wicked character, since your character is such, it is only proper you will undergo suffering.
The wealth of human beings cannot, humans normally have great merit, but there is no such merit for animals, therefore the wealth of human beings cannot be enjoyed by birds, who are animals.