The stork and the fox are
notorious for the proverb ’One bad turn deserves another’. The story goes that
they were once friends. One day fox invited the stork for dinner and served him
soup in a dish. The stork couldn’t eat anything and had to return home hungry.
Later the stork invited the fox for dinner and served food in a narrow necked
container and this time the fox couldn’t eat anything. “That served him right,”
some will say. The point I contend for is, “Was this the best the stork could
The fox was already notorious for his cunningness but the stork didn’t have to
be the same. This was an opportunity for the stork to make a difference in fox’s
life. His different response could have become an impetus for change in fox’s
The stork had many choices. He could have served him in a container that was
suitable for him and could have set an example of true hospitality. Better
still, he could have invited some other animals too and could have served each
one of them their favourite foods in the containers that would suit them. This
would definitely have affected the fox.
Even if stork’s hospitality would not have had any effect on the fox’s
personality, at least the stork would not have stooped to the same level.
The same is true for our lives. Why is it that our behaviour with people is
governed by the ‘tit for tat’ principle? Why can’t we be more principle centred
and behave in the right way, no matter what. Our relationships will improve if
we step out of the vicious cycle of bad turns.
Quran tells us to remove the bad with the good. Why can’t this principle be our
guide? This will definitely change the foxes and the storks alike and they will
remain friends forever. ‘One good turn deserves another’ will make the world a