A kingfisher and a perling were good friends. They always helped one another. One morning, the kingfisher said to the perling.
“Would you like to learn something?”
“What is it? We have the knowledge to fly already, don’t we?” answered the perling.
“I think it is not enough. The more we learn the better,” explained the kingfisher.
“What do you mean?” asked the perling anxiously.
“I want to learn to swim and dive. I heard that at the far end of the river there is an old otter who can teach swimming and diving,” explained the kingfisher.
“If so, I’ll just follow.” The perling agreed. The next day, the perling and the kingfisher went to meet the otter. The otter agreed to teach them. At first, the otter taught the kingfisher to swim and dive. The perling looked on. After a few days, the kingfisher could swim and dive. The kingfisher thanked the otter for teaching him. The perling had no chance to learn how to swim and dive, as the otter suddenly fell ill and died.
“Don’t be sad, my friend. I will teach you how to swim and dive,” coaxed the kingfisher. The perling agreed. One morning, the kingfisher asked the perling to go to a lake together to try his skill out. The kingfisher perched on a twig to watch the fishes in the lake. The kingfisher then swam and dove to look for fish. When he caught one, he brought it to the lakeside to eat it with the perling. Inevitably, he became an expert in swimming, diving and efficient in catching fish. He was excited because he could fly and swim as well. The kingfisher became greedy and refused to teach the perling. “It is better to only keep the knowledge to myself. Other birds will surely say I’m an extraordinary bird,” thought the kingfisher.
“Dear friend, I think you can swim and dive already. When will you teach me?” asked the perling to the kingfisher one day.
“Hold on, I’m still busy, be patient,” anwered the kingfisher in pretence. One day, when the river water was still low, the kingfisher swam and dove and caught fish. The perling could only look on from the river bank. While diving and hunting for small fishes, suddenly his leg was caught on a twig in the river. He tried to free himself but failed. He stuck out his head to the water surface. “Help me, my leg is stuck, I can’t free myself, help me!” The kingfisher pleaded to the perling. The perling was surprised and flew immediately to the kingfisher.
“Yes, I will help you!” said the perling as he flew to the kingfisher.
“Please free my leg, do something before I drown!” appealed the kingfisher as the water started to rise.
“I can’t do anything, I can’t dive,” said the perling nervously as he looked at the kingfisher panting and growing weaker. Upon hearing that, the kingfisher regretted not teaching the perling his skills. If the perling could dive, he could have saved him. The kingfisher began to submerge. The perling broke down in tears as he perched on a branch, watching the kingfisher drown. Thus, that is why the eyes of perlings are red and they do not eat fish anymore.