THE FROG AND THE CROW

A Crow once caught a fine fat Frog, and taking him in her bill she flew with him to the roof of a neighbouring house in order to devour him at her leisure. As she alighted on the roof of the house the Frog gave an audible chuckle.

” What are you laughing at, Brother Frog ? “said the Crow.

” Oh, nothing, Sister Crow,” said the Frog ; ” never mind me. I was just thinking to myself that, as it fortunately happens, my Father lives close by here, on this very roof, and as he is an exceedingly fierce, strong man, he will certainly avenge my death if anyone injures me.”

The Crow did not quite like this, and thinking it as well to be on the safe side she hopped off to another corner of the roof near to where a gutter led away the rain water by means of a small hole in the parapet and a wooden spout. She paused here for a moment and was just about to begin to swallow the Frog when the Frog gave another chuckle.

” What are you laughing at this time, Brother Frog ?” asked the Crow.

” Oh, it’s only a small matter, Sister Crow, hardly worth mentioning,” replied the Frog, ” but it just occurred to me that my Uncle, who is even a stronger and fiercer man than my Father, lives in this very gutter, and that if anybody was to do me an injury here they would have a very small chance of escaping from his clutches.”

The Crow was somewhat alarmed at hearing this, and she thought that, on the whole, it would be safer to leave the roof altogether ; so again picking up the Frog in her bill she flew off to the ground below, and alighted near the edge of a well. Here she placed the Frog upon the ground and was just about to eat him when the Frog said :

” Oh, Sister Crow, I notice your bill seems rather blunt. Before you begin to eat me don’t you think it would be a good thing to sharpen it a little. You can strop it very nicely on that flat stone over there.”

The Crow, thinking this was a good idea, took two or three hops towards the stone, and began sharpening her bill. As soon as she had turned her back the Frog gave one desperate jump, and dived into the well. As soon as the Crow had made her bill nice and sharp she returned from the stone, and looked about for the Frog. Not finding him where she had left him she hopped to the edge of the well and peeped over, craning her head from side to side. Presently she spied the Frog in the water, and called out to him :

” Oh, Brother Frog, I was afraid you were lost. My bill is quite nice and sharp now, so come along up and be eaten.”

” I am so sorry, Sister Crow,” replied the Frog, ” but the fact is, I cannot get up the sides of this well. The best thing would be for you to come down here to eat me.”

And so saying he dived to the bottom of the well.

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