Tale of Ababil’s Tail


Once upon a time Ajgar (Python) used to rule the earth. He was the most powerful creature living on the surface of this planet. Everyone was afraid of him. He would eat anyone he wanted to. A number of creatures became his slave carrying out his orders.

Nobody dared to confront him.  In fact, in order escape his wrath some of them even spied for him and helped him find uncustomary delicious creatures. One such agent was  Machchar ( Mosquito). The Mosquito would  go to any extend to please his master.

He would cover the length and breadth of the world looking for scrumptious blood. Once he would find someone, he would immediately report it to Ajgar. In this way the later would be pleased to have a savoury dinner and the former would be spared of terminal ire. 

One day Ajgar asked Mosquito to find out the creature with the sweetest blood. Mosquito started his quest to find the sweetest of all the bloods. Few days later, Mosquito met Man (Adami) and befriended him. Later at night he bit Adami to taste his blood. He found his blood tastiest of all the bloods he ever had. Mosquito was happy. Finally he  found what his master ordered. Someone with the sweetest blood. He was sure he would be rewarded for his extraordinary discovery. Next day Mosquito praised Ajgar in front of  Adami and convinced him to have a meeting with his master.  Adami happily agreed to accompany him to the forest. But, there was someone else who was watching everything. It was Ababil, the bird. Ababil was a good friend of Adami. He advised him not to trust Mosquito.  Adami ignored his advise and went ahead with his plan to meet Ajgar. Ababil reckoned Mosquito’s evil intention. He was left with no choice but to follow them.

When Mosquito along with Adami met Ajgar in the forest, there were a number of other creatures present around them. Ababil was also there. Excited, Mosquito opened his mouth to tell Ajgar that he knew the creature with the tastiest blood. Mosquito started,” My Lord! I have found the creature having the sweetest blood. It’s A…..”

What happened after that. I tried hard to remember and recollect bits and pieces. Unfortunately,  I could only remember the gist of the story not the details. It had been long. I was only nine years old when I read it. Believe me it is difficult to remember each and every detail unless you have an eidetic memory like Sheldon Cooper or Robert Langdon.  I also looked for this story on internet.  I got disappointed. None of the search results had any story that involved Ababil, Adami, Ajgar and Mosquito. To my surprise I did find about Ababil, the bird. It turned out Ababil indeed was a true friend of man.  Ababil has been mentioned in the Quran. A flock of Ababils protected Mecca from the Yemen army. The birds threw stones on Yemen army so fiercely that it was forced to step back and run away. Each stone contained the name of its target and in this manner, the entire army was destroyed and the Holy Ka’bah was protected. The incident took place during the birth year of the Prophet Muhammed.

As a nine-year old kid I admired Ababil for his bravery and kind heart. I guess I developed affixation for the bird and it remained in a dormant state in the unknown trenches of my mind until yesterday night when suddenly it resurfaced.  On one of my routine visits to the labyrinth of my childhood memories I stumbled upon the pieces of this hibernating story about a bird, Ababil who while saving Adami (man) from the wrath of Ajgar (python) got his tail elongated. I could clearly see the title of this story written on my imaginary memory wall in bold letters, “Ababil ki punch lambi kyu hoti hai?” (Why is Ababil’s tail long?).

Coming back to the story, I know Mosquito failed to share his discovery with Ajgar because Ababil interfered. But, how? What did Ababil do? How was he able to save the man? Ababil did say “Ajgar se sambhal” ( be careful of the python). And somehow during this entire episode Ababil’s tail was caught and pulled by Ajgar. As a result it got elongated. Keeping all these fragments in my mind I tried to chronicle a plausible narrative. And this is what I could think of:

The moment Mosquito opened his mouth to say AdamiAbabil hit him hard and said,  “Ajgar se sambhal” and flew away. Mosquito collapsed and could not say a word. Adami understood Ababil’s message and escaped. But,  Ajgar was not an idiot. He sensed Ababil was trying to hide something. He thought Mosquito might have wanted to say Ababil. That’s why the bird hit him. Without any delay, Ajgar reached for Ababil but could only get hold of his tail. In an attempt to catch him he held Ababil’s tail and pulled it towards himself but Ababil was too fast to be caught and escaped from Ajgar’s grasp.  When Ajgar pulled Ababil’s tail it got elongated before the bird slipped away. From that day onwards Ababil’s tail is long. Ababil also came to be remembered as a true friend of Adami (man) by saving him from  Ajgar (Python).

P.S. There are a number of discrepancies in this story. I would be grateful if any of the readers knows or is able to find the detailed story. I would love to know the original version and would like to incorporate it in this blog. Please feel free to share.

Image credit – Google

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