It was the battle of Kurukshetra. The white conch shells were about to sound, the elephants to march forward, and the attack of the archers to commence. The moment was brief and terrible. Banners were flying, and the charioteers preparing for the advance.
Suddenly a little lapwing, who had built her nest in the turf of a hillock in the midst of the battlefield, drew the attention of the Lord Krishna by her cries of anxiety and distress for her young. “Poor little mother!” he said tenderly, “let this be thy protection!” And, lifting a great elephant-bell that had fallen near, he placed it over the lapwing’s nest.
And so, through the eighteen days of raging battle that followed, a lapwing and her nestlings were kept in safety in their nest, by the mercy of the lord, even in the midst of the raging field of Kurukshetra.