The Thirsty Crow Story in English

Stories are the reflection of our perceptions and beliefs. They have an inherent essence of morality and wisdom. Stories can be both realistic and imaginary or an amalgamation of both. However, in all forms, they leave a profound impact on our lives, making us wise and conscious of the ways of the world. We either read them in books or hear them through conversations.

The folklores and mythologies that have been passed on through generations are the cornerstones of the new-age art of storytelling. Every person has her/his unique ways of looking at stories. They apply it in their lives depending on their vision and ideologies. Every story has a life and is immortal. It can never perish and has a legacy to be passed on through generations. What could better describe this notion than the famous legend of “The Thirsty Crow”.

The Thirsty Crow is a beautiful old tale that describes the importance of virtue and inventiveness. The story is essentially taught to everyone in their childhood. The story is simple and straightforward, though has a profound meaning that best relates to our practical lives. We all have necessities in our lives which sometimes land us in crisis if we lack the means to fulfill them. We can only overcome such situations through our intellect and wise decisions. The pragmatic tale of “The Thirsty Crow” conveys a strong message that every person should embrace in their lives.

Here is the narrative of “The Thirsty Crow”:

The Thirsty Crow:

Once during an intense summer when it was difficult for the birds to quench their thirst, a thirsty Crow found a pitcher containing water in its bottom. 


The pitcher was large and had a narrow neck. It was quite difficult for the crow to enter his beak into the pitcher and drink its water. He got disappointed and lamented on his fate.

He made many attempts to reach the level of water but failed in all his endeavors. Then a witty idea struck his mind and he dropped pebbles in the pitcher one after another. 


Soon the water in the pitcher reached a height that was accessible to the crow. The crow drank the water and satiated his thirst.

Origin of the story:

The story of “The Crow and the Pitcher” has been written by Aesop and is mentioned in the Perry index at 390th number. The story is an ancient interpretation of the behavior of the corvid family which is explained by modern science as goal-oriented and driven by natural wisdom instead of operant conditioning.

This famous fable has been translated by Gorge Fyler Townsend. Aesop’s fables that are translated by Tyler are the standard form in English since the 19th century.

Aesop was subjected to slavery in Greece during the seventh century. Aristotle claimed that his birthplace was Thrace. The fable of The Crow and the Pitcher was popular in Greece and Rome. The story illustrated the narrative of a witty crow and the enduring pitcher. A poet named Bianor expressed the fable into a poem. Bianor was a poet who lived in Bithynia under the kingdom of Augustus and Tiberius. The fable was mentioned some 400 years later by Avianus and is narrated during the entire period of the Middle Ages.

Many translators have added their accounts to the moral of the fable. Townsend emphasized that critical situations lead to innovative thinking. Some of the translators have observed the quality of consistency in achieving your goal. Townsend also emphasized the superiority of virtue over the power of the force.

Moral of the story: 

The renowned fable “The Crow and the Pitcher” is a beautiful depiction of the ingenuity and persistence required to achieve the desired result. The thirsty crow in the story had inventive and innovative thinking. He was also very consistent in his efforts. He could have given up quickly since he was in a state of utter thirst. But he dropped the pebbles one after another till he reached the level of water. 

Through this fable, we learn that crisis should not shake our confidence and such situations could be resolved through intellect and shrewd actions. The story is simple and has been narrated for generations with a purpose to ingrain in people the quality of wisdom and sagacity.

Real-life applications of the story:

  • In our daily lives, we often come across dire situations that perturb us. We may get fidgety in such circumstances and lose the power of clever thinking. Suppose we are heading to a destination and we have lost our way during the journey. In such a situation, it is very essential to use our power of judgment and wisdom. We could make use of technology or seek help through maps. We could also ask the passer-byes to guide us about the correct course.   
  • During a competition or a racecourse, we are under high pressure to excel and achieve success. However, if something unwanted occurs just before the event, we tend to get agitated and nervous, losing our focus and determination. In such serious circumstances, like the thirsty crow, we should apply our wisdom and behave ingeniously to meet our goals. We should optimally use the limited time available before the event in finding out correct solutions driven by logical thinking rather than making complicated decisions. For instance, a dancer is going to perform in an event and finds that his competitor has used advanced dancing techniques. In such circumstances, he should make the most of his talents and skills.
  • Suppose one wants to score the highest marks in a subject during their exams. However, due to a sprain in his/her right arm, he/she fails to write efficiently. In such a situation, he/she should change their study techniques and focus more on learning the notes rather than using the pen and paper with the left hand. Using the left hand for writing purposes during the preparation will slow down the pace of your study.  


Hence, the tale of “The Crow and the Pitcher” conveys the moral principles of wisdom and ingenuity. Though the story is ancient, it will always maintain its novelty. The message conveyed through it will never get old and will continue to enlighten people for coming generations.