Review by Kristen Bentley
A bit about the author: Kristen is a High school English teacher since 1994. Mother of two and professional writer with a Master’s degree in education. She loves to read, travel, watch baseball, and watch her children play sports, too.
The Crow, the Doves, and the Mouse
Throughout school, children are told that they need to learn to work in teams. Unfortunately, they are told to do this, but not shown how to work together while in teams. Fortunately, iStoryBooks.co has the perfect story to show what can be done when teamwork is valued.
Ancient Sanskrit Stories Helping Children Today
“The Crow, the Doves, and the Mouse,” a story based on the ancient Indian Panchatantra story, shows that teamwork can be lifesaving. Many believe these stories are nearly 3,000 years old. They were originally told in Sanskrit and many believe they are similar in age to the Rig Veda. The word Panchatantra breaks down into “pancha” meaning “five” and “tantra” meaning “ways.” These ancient fables were supposedly told to share knowledge about the ways of the world. The Panchatantra was designed to help children understand how to survive typical problems like losing friends, gaining friends, losing gains, and not planning ahead, as well as using birds like owls and crows to look for lessons and signs.
Summary of the Story
In “The Crows, the Doves, and the Mouse,” the crow is seen as a hero that takes time to warn the other birds in the Peepal tree to watch out for the hunter and his net. Fortunately for the birds in the tree, they listened. Unfortunately, a dole of doves flying toward the Peepal tree does not. The doves get stuck in the hunter’s net despite the crow’s warning. Wisely, the king of the doves advises his followers to be smart to escape the hunter. Together, they lift the net and fly away.
The doves fly with the net until they reach the home of a small mouse who happens to be friends with the king of the doves. They land and the mouse comes to the aid by beginning to nibble at the net around the king dove’s feet. Thinking about the welfare of this followers first, the king tells the mouse to free them from the net first. The mouse does as the king says. After all of the doves were released, they thanked the mouse and continued on their way, leaving the net behind.
Working Together Despite Subtle Differences
This story has plenty of lessons that parents and teachers can use, especially involving team work. Without the doves deciding to work together, they would have been captured by the doves. They listened to their leader and saved themselves. Then, they trusted a friend of their leader and were all freed. To show how much he cares for his fellow doves, the king put himself last and let his followers be freed first. The crow even showed how much he cared for his fellow birds by warning them about the net. Parents can point out the different ways that the birds and the mouse work together against a common threat.
Teaching the Ancient Stories from India and other Eastern Countries
Along with pointing out the variety of ways the birds work together, parents and teachers can also teach the ancient stories. The ancient Indian stories are often overlooked by teachers in the United States because they can be challenging to understand. But “The Crow, the Doves, and the Mouse” as well as many of the other Panchatantra stories are more accessible for Western thinkers.
Learning About Trees All Over the World
The Peepal tree is another option for lesson planning. In the story, the birds live together in this special tree. Teachers and parents could teach students about habitats. They could also study different types of trees, both local and around the world. Children could collect leaves or use technology to collect pictures and identify the different types of trees in their neighborhoods. Students could learn about invasive species in their area, too.
Studying the Role of the Crow in Classic Tales
The crow is a popular animal in fables and myths. In the Panchatantra fable, the crow is a “good guy;” but in other cultures, the crow plays a different role. Children enjoy reading about fables and mythological stories from around the world. Along with reading the stories, they could write their own using animals in their local area, too.