Once upon a time, a pair of pheasants lived close to the Sea. They spent their time happily singing and dancing on the branches of the trees by the Sea. One day the female pheasant told her husband that she was expecting their baby and he must look for a safe place to lay the eggs. The husband said, "My dear, this Seaside is enchanting and it is better you lay eggs here only."
The wife said, "When it is full moon, the Sea tide can wash away even wild elephants. Let us go elsewhere."
Amused, the husband said, "What you say is true. But the Sea has no power to harm us."
Listening to this dialogue, the Sea thought, "How vain is this bird which is as small as a worm! Let me drown these eggs and see what he can do."
After laying eggs, the female bird went in search of food. In her absence, the Sea sent a wave that sucked the eggs into the waters. When they returned to the nest and, not finding the eggs there, decided to take revenge from the sea with the help of their friends. As their friends, the cranes, the peacocks, the cuckoos and other birds, gathered, the male pheasant told them the story of how the Sea had killed their offspring and how necessary it was to drain him out. At the end, he said, "We cannot do this job. Let us go to Garuda, Lord Vishnu's vehicle, and tell him all that has happened. He will be angry over what the Sea has done to his species. He will surely take revenge on the Sea."
Wailing and weeping, all the birds went to meet Garuda and told him, "O lord, we need your help. The Sea has destroyed the eggs of the pheasant pair."
Moved by their story of grief, Garuda thought to himself, "These birds have a legitimate grievance. I will go and punish the Sea." Meanwhile, an envoy from Lord Vishnu came and told Garuda that the Lord had sent him as He wanted to travel to Amaravathi on a divine mission. The envoy asked Garuda to accompany him at once.
Garuda told the envoy, "No, I cannot come. I am not a useful servant. Let him take someone else. Please convey my regards to the Lord."
Surprised at Garuda's words, the envoy said, "O Garuda, you have never uttered such words about the Lord. Did the Lord slight you in any manner? Let me know."
"See, this Sea, the Lord's habitat, has swallowed the eggs of the pheasant pair. If the Lord does not punish the Sea for this, I shall not serve Him. This is my decision and you may convey this to the Lord," said Garuda.
Informed of Garuda's pique, Vishnu told himself, "Garuda has reason to be annoyed with me. I shall go myself and receive him with respect."
When Vishnu arrived to meet him, Garuda felt guilty that he had said harsh words about the Lord and said, "O Lord, the Sea who enjoys your protection has stolen the eggs of my servants and thus insulted me. Because of respect for you, I delayed taking action against him."
"True, learned men say that a master is responsible for the misdeeds of his servants. Such misdeeds hurt the master more than the servant. Come with me. I shall recover those eggs from the Sea and make the pheasant pair happy again. Later we will go to Amaravathi," said Lord Vishnu.
The Lord then took out his thunderbolt and aiming it at the Sea warned him, "You wicked man, return the eggs to the bird pair. Otherwise, I will turn the sea into a desert."
Frightened, the Sea returned the eggs to the pheasants. The male bird handed them to his wife.
He who challenges an enemy without knowing his strength perishes in the end.