Damnah said, ‘They have related that on the shore of the Indian Ocean there is a kind of bird which they call Ṭiṭawạ or ‘Sand-piper.’ A pair of these had their nest on the sea-shore, and had fixed their abode at the brink of the water. When the time for depositing their eggs had come, the female said, ‘We must seek a place to lay our eggs where we may live in peace.’ The male replied, ‘Here is a pleasant place and agreeable spot, and to migrate from hence appears impossible. The eggs must be laid.’ The female rejoined, ‘Here is the place for deliberation, for if the sea roll up its waves and carry off our young, and all our life’s labor should be wasted, how shall we remedy that?’ Her mate answered, ‘I do not suspect that the Genius of the Sea would show this hardihood, or put such a slight upon us;* and admitting that he should imagine such a disrespect and allow our offspring to be drowned, he may be forced to do us justice.

Is my will thwarted, then I’ll wreak my vengeance on the sky;
I am not one that e’en from heaven will bear indignity.’

The female replied, ‘To step without the limits of one’s own rank, and to boast of what exceeds our power, is unsuitable to persons of discretion. What strength hast thou that thou shouldest threaten the Genius of the Sea with thy vengeance, and what terrors are thine to enable thee to rise to the dignity of a conflict and feud with him?

To thine own ruin thou a spoiler art;
A sparrow thou and playest the falcon’s part.

Abandon this idea, and choose for our eggs a place of security and a safe spot, and turn not away thy head from my advice; for whoever hearkens not to the words of those who give him counsel, and does not act upon the advice of friends who wish him well, meets with what befell the Tortoise.’ The male Sandpiper inquired, ‘How was that?’