Once there lived a pair of Tittibha birds on a sea shore. The female Tittibha bird was expecting to lay eggs. They both were very happy and began to planned about their family after their children.
When the time reached to lay eggs the female Tittibha said to her husband to seek a safe place to lay her eggs. She said, “My dear, please seek some good place for me to lay the eggs as it is almost time came to lay them.” The male Tittibha replied, “Dear, this seashore is the best place to lay the eggs. Where in the world could be a better place than this. Please lay your eggs here.”
But the female Tittibha disagreed to him and said, “On full moon nights the waves of sea are very high and they can even drag an elephant into it. No, please find a safe place away from here.”
The male Tittibha laughed on her and insisted her, “My dear, the sea would not even dare to harm my children. You don’t worry unnecessarily and lays eggs here.”
When the male and female Tittibha discussed all this, the sea had been hearing all the time and then he thought, “From a small bird as he, such rudeness is not expecting. Now I will definitely take away his eggs to see what he does after that and teach him a lesson.”
After few days the female Tittibha laid her eggs in the seashore. Then, both the birds went away in search of food. At the same time the sea started making waves. The waves became so higher after some time that it swallowed the eggs into it. When the birds returned they found the nest empty. Seeing this the female Tittibha started weeping loudly and said to her husband, “See, the waves of the seashore has swallowed our eggs. I asked you to seek a safe place to lay eggs but you never listen. You are such a big fool. Now we lost our children.”
But the male Tittibha continued his stupidity and said, “My dear, you don’t worry. I will dry the sea and force it to return our eggs. Then you feel proud on me how brilliant I am.” The female Tittibha shocked and asked him, “How can you dry this huge sea?”
The male Tittibha explained to her, “Even small birds as me can overcome the strongest opposer if they are eager to do. And so I plan to dry the whole sea by sucking its water with my beak.” The female Tittibha asked him, “How can you dry up the sea with your beak? The rivers like the Ganges and Indus, and hundreds of other rivers flow into it. There is no meaning of all this.”
He continued to argue her, “I will work hard day and night to suck all the water of this enormous sea with my beak. A man can succeed only after putting efforts.” The female Tittibha understood that she will not be able to convince him. So she said to him, “Dear, there is no point in arguing with you. But if you want to empty the sea, you should call your friends to help you in this task.” The husband agreed and said, “All right my dear, I will do this with the help of my friends.”
Within few moments the male Tittibha bird called all his friends to gathered at one place. And when they all gathered, he explained his problem to them about the sea, how it had swallowed all his eggs and how he planned to dry the sea to take revenge.
When all the birds, the swan, crane, peacock and others heard all they said to him, “The task is impossible. There is no advantage of this talking. It is impossible for us to suck the sea to dry it up completely. We should visit our king, Garuda, the Lord Vishnu’s vehicle to seek his advice. When he comes to know that what the sea has done with your children, he will be angry and seek revenge.”
Thus they all went to their king, Garuda and narrated the entire story to him. They said to him, “O king, the sea swallowed the eggs of the good Tittibha birds even after the fact that you are our caretaker, our protector. If this all happened again and again, our entire race will finish.” The Garuda realised that the birds were in trouble so he agreed to help them, to go and dry the entire sea. At the time when they were leaving, a messenger from Lord Vishnu who needed his help arrived there.
Garuda explained to the messenger that he was unable to serve his king at this time and said to him, “I am a very common servant of the Lord Vishnu for him to need me. The sea, which is the resting place of the Lord, has swallowed all the eggs of the Tittibha birds. I refuse to serve my Master if he will not order the sea to return the eggs of the Tittibha. This is my strong determination. Please let him know of it.”
The messenger reached the Lord Vishnu and came to knew him all the matter. Then the Lord Vishnu thought, “I can understand the behaviour of the Garuda and need to help him. He is the king and protector of all the birds. I must meet him at once.”
Within few moments the Lord Vishnu reached the Garuda, he bowed in respect of Lord Vishnu and explained, “O Lord, the sea, which is your resting place has insulted me by swallowing the eggs of my humble servant, the good Tittibha birds. It is my respect that I have for you that I have not taken any step for revenge.”
Lord Vishnu said to him, “Garuda, come with me. You are right. The sea should not have done such type of thing. Let us go to the sea to return the eggs of Tittibha birds. After that we will leave, as I need your support.”
Then they all reached the sea and then the Lord Vishnu scolded the sea. Taking a thunderbolt in his hand, he warned the sea, “O sea, return the eggs of the Tittibha birds at once or dare to face my anger.”
When the sea heard the warning from the Lord Vishnu himself, he was terrified. It apologised for his mistake, and returned the eggs to the Tittibha birds.
The wise indeed say:
Do not underestimate the power of the timid.