The Three Fish

Tale of Panchatantra

Nivedita Yohana

The Three Fish — watercolour by Greg Suffanti


Once upon a time, there lived three big fish in a lake. They were close friends, but characteristically they were very different.

The first one was very wise. He always did everything after careful consideration.
The second one was very cheerful, intelligent and resourceful. He would always use his mind to find a solution for any problem.
The third one believed in fate. He believed that whatever was to happen would happen and nobody could change it.

One day while playing in the water near the shore, the wise fish overheard a fisherman telling another fisherman:

“This Lake is full of good fish. Let us come back here tomorrow for fishing.”

Hearing this, the fish rushed to his friends and told them all that he had overheard, advising his other two friends:

“Let us leave this lake through this canal and go to another lake,”

he said.

The resourceful fish said,

“I will not leave the lake. When the fishermen come, I will find a way to save myself.”

The third fish said,

“I have lived in this lake all my life and will not leave it. Whatever will be, will be.”

However, the wise one did not want to take risks and left for the other lake.

The next morning the fishermen came and cast their net. The two friends were caught in the net. The resourceful fish thought of a way out. He lay still and pretended to be dead. The fishermen threw him out into the water.

The fish who believed in fate kept flipping around in the net. One of the fishermen struck him dead.

Moral: One who does not adapt to change often perishes. Depending entirely on fate will not always serve you well, unless you take responsibility and act accordingly to life’s challenges.
  • Chowdhury, R., Vishnusharma, & Roy, N.S. (2017). Panchatantra. Gurgaon: Penguin Books India.
  • Das, V., & Joshi, J. (2002). The Jataka tales. New Delhi: Madhuban.
  • Hitopadesha: An ancient, fabled classic. (2002). Bombay: Jaico Pub. House.
Nivedita Yohana

Since early on I had the affinity to learn more about what lies beyond our mundane existence and that made me pursue my studies in that field. Even though my study is in the field of English Literature, I have always inculcated philosophical insights into my analysis. Quest for Wisdom Foundation is a great initiative by Dr. Heidi and when I first heard about it, I immediately saw amazing potentials in it.

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