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Laṭukika Jātaka (No.357)

A quail once laid her eggs in the feeding ground of the elephants. When the young ones were hatched, the Bodhisatta, the leader of the elephants, passed along that way with the herd, and, at the request of the mother quail, carefully avoided the young ones. However, a rogue elephant, who came after, though warned in the same way, trod on the nest and fouled it. The quail swore revenge, and got a crow to put out the elephant’s eyes and a fly to put maggots in them, and when the elephant, in great pain, looked for water, she persuaded a frog to croak on the mountain top and thus to lead the elephant into a precipice down which he fell and was killed.

The story was told in reference to Devadatta who was identified with the rogue elephant (J.iii.174‑77). In the accounts (see Rohinī) of the quarrel between the Sākyā and the Koliyā, this Jātaka is said to have been one of those taught by the Buddha on that occasion, showing that even such a weak animal as a quail could sometimes cause the death of an elephant. Perhaps the story was related on more than one occasion. See also the Laṭukikopama Sutta.

See DhA.i.46, where it is related to the Kosambī monks to show the danger of quarrelling.

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