A kite caught hold of a rat and flew away. As soon as it had caught hold of the rat, the other kites started hovering around and attacking it. They went on pecking at it and the kite started to bleed badly. It was quite surprised at this attack, but it didn’t give up the dead rat. But when the other kites attacked, it accidentally dropped the rat. As soon as the rat fell, all the kites which were hovering around left it alone and punched upon the rat.
The kite sat on a tree and started thinking. It thought, “First I thought that all these kites were my enemies, but they went away as soon as I dropped the rat, which means that there was no personal enmity with me. The cause of their attack was this rat. The mistake was mine, I was stupid enough to think that they are angry with me.”
Ramakrishna used to tell this story often and he used to say that holding a desire is like holding a rat in your mouth.