The Eagle, the Jackdaw and the Shepherd
An eagle, dropping suddenly from a high rock, carried off a lamb. A jackdaw saw this, was smitten by a sense of rivalry and determined to do the same. So, with a great deal of noise, he pounced upon a ram. But his claws merely got caught in the thick ringlets of the lamb’s fleece, and no matter how frantically he flapped his wings, he was unable to get free and take flight.
Finally, the shepherd bestirred himself, hurried up to the jackdaw and got hold of him. He clipped the end of his wings and, when evening fell, he carried him back for his children. The children wanted to know what sort of bird this was.
So the shepherd replied, “As far as I can see, it’s a jackdaw, but it would like to think it’s an eagle!”
The Vain Crow
A crow, as vain and conceited as only a crow can be, picked up the feathers that some peacocks had shed and stuck them among his own. Then he scoffed at his old companions and joined a flock of beautiful peacocks. After introducing himself with great self-confidence, the crow was immediately recognized for the pretender he was, and the peacocks stripped him of the borrowed plumes. Moreover, they battered him with their beaks and sent him about his business.
The unlucky crow, sorely punished and deeply regretful, rejoined his former companions and wanted to mix with them again as if nothing had happened. But they recalled the airs he had assumed and drove him from their flock.
At the same time, one of the crows whom he had recently snubbed gave him a short lecture: “Had you been satisfied with your own feathers, you would have escaped the punishment of your betters and also the contempt of your equals.”