One evening the two sisters, Vinata and Kadruva were walking along the sea shore enjoying the breeze and admiring the surroundings. They saw a milky white horse at a distance. This was the Uchaisrava -the milky white horse of Indra(king of Devas), which came out of Ksheerasagara madhanam (churning of milky ocean).
Kadruva wanted to fool her sister Vinata. So she said "look at that horse, it is white as milk. But its tail is black. Vinata looked at the tail carefully and found that it was white. So she disagreed and asked Kadruva to look at it carefully. But Kadruva did not accept that. The sisters argued on this issue. Kadruva in a fit of rage said "Let us bet on it. If I am correct you and your children will have to be my slaves for life. If you are correct then me and my children will be your slaves for life". Vinata had to agree. She insisted on going nearer to the horse to verify the colour of its tail. But Kadruva stopped her by saying that it was getting dark and that they should get back to home. Next morning they would examine it in broad day light. They went back to their homes for the night.
Kadruva could not sleep at all. She was the one who insisted on betting. She also knew that she would loose as the horse's tail was white in colour. But she could not think of being slave to her sister. She called her sons, who were serpents and explained them about the bet. She asked them to help her win the bet by some how making the tail of the horse black. But her sons refused to do so as this was not fair. Even though she was their mother, they refused to be a part of the deceit saying that this was not ethical or moral and one should never go out of the way of Dharma or righteousness.
But Kadruva was desperate to prove herself correct.So she said she would curse them. her sons still did not agree. So she cursed them that they would be burnt alive in the fires (This curse came true later on when the "Sarpa Yaga" was performed by King Janamejeya).
One of her sons Karkotaka who was frightened by the curse and also loved his mother very much promised to help her. So next morning he went to the sea shore, found the horse, claimed and entwined himself on to its tail.
When Vinata and Kadruva came to inspect the horse, they found its tail black. They were looking at it from a distance may be because if they go near it the horse might get away. So from the distance Vinata could not see that a serpent was entwined on to the tail. All she could see was that the tail was black. She lost the bet and became slave of Kadruva from that day, serving her as a slave would.
Vinata was still looking after the egg to hatch...
Read about the birth of Garuda and how he relieved his mother Vinata from slavery in my next posts.....