Three fishes named Anagatavidhata, Pratyutpannamati and Yadbhavishya lived in a certain pond, along with many other fishes.
One afternoon, some fishermen were passing by the pond. They investigated the pond, and agreed that the pond was full of fishes. Since, they were already returning after catching fishes, and already had a big haul, they decided to come back the next morning.
They discussed, “This pond is full of fishes, and there are many big ones too. We have never caught fishes in this pond. Let us come back tomorrow morning.”
The three fishes were swimming on the surface when they heard the fishermen discuss their plans.
The first fish panicked. He immediately assembled all other fishes and told them what they had heard. He said, “Tomorrow morning, the fishermen will arrive to catch us. I do not want to die like this. So, I will leave with my family at the earliest. I advise all of you to follow me. It will not be wise for anybody to stay here any longer!”
The second fish agreed, “I shall follow you, my friend, for what you say is correct. It will be unwise to remain here anymore!”
But the third fish disagreed. He laughed at the two fishes, and said to the fishes assembled, “See how cowardly these two act! This pond belonged to our forefathers, and it is our home now. For so long, no harm has ever come to the fishes of this pond.”
He continued, “Just because some fishermen were discussing their plans, is no reason for us to panic and leave our home. Those who agree with me, I advise them to stay where we belong and not go to some unknown place.”
He further said, “O Friends, the scriptures state that when the time for one’s death arrives, one is not spared. If death has to come, let us rather die bravely in our home!”
Thus, the fishes of the pond got divided into two groups. The group that wanted to stay laughed at the other group. However, within the very evening, the families of the first two fishes started their journey to a different pond through a small outlet. They were followed by many who believed them.
The next morning the fishermen arrived as they had planned, and trapped all the fishes that remained in the pond by casting net all over the pond.
Not a single fish was spared, and the fishermen were overjoyed with the big haul of fishes that they had caught.
The wise indeed say:
When you see a danger coming, act immediately.