The Fox and The Stork

The Fox and The Stork :

In a burrow made by an enormous family of rabbits, there lived a cunning fox. He stayed near the rabbits' home when he was just a youngster with the simple plan of eating all the rabbits up! He made a most comfortable house of it, furnished it with all sorts of things - most of them stolen goods. And now he lived there alone sleeping during the day and hunting at night.

One early morning, this busy, cunning fox was trotting home with a dead rabbit in his mouth; he saw a big white bird solemnly stalking through the river reeds on legs that were just like stilts. The big bird bowed to him for they know each other and the fox suddenly burst out laughing. However, as he laughed into the furry coat of the rabbit, the big bird did not hear him. The fox was thinking how silly the stork looked with his long legs and his neck that was even longer. It suddenly occurred to the mischievous, cunning fox to play a joke on this absurd bird so he put the rabbit carefully down and spoke.

"Good evening, my dear friend! Have you had good hunting?"

"Fair, fair!" replied the stork. "Because the frogs here are getting cautious…it is difficult to find them." The bird glanced at the rabbit.

He wanted to have a few mouthfuls of it.

"Come to dine with me this evening", said the cunning fox graciously, "You shall see the most excellent dish of rabbit you ever saw in your life."

The stork accepted the invitation as politely as it was given and the cunning fox trolled off again with the rabbit. When he reached his burrow, he began to make arrangements for his visitor. All the time, he was laughing silently and then he curled himself up for his long day's nap. He went on chuckling even in his sleep.

At twilight the stork arrived at the cunning fox’s house. As he could not, of course, get into the burrow, his host prepared to set the supper in the bracken just outside. He laid the table and put out the plates. Then he disappeared into the burrow for a minute and came back carrying a large dish which smelled most delicious. He set it down and invited the stork to begin.

The mischief-loving, cunning little fox had made a soup out of the rabbit! Poor stork, he stuck his long beak into the soup and dabbled about, but of course he could not manage to eat it, except by the tiniest mouthfuls, not worth mentioning. Meanwhile, the cunning fox lapped up plateful after plateful urging the stork all the time to take his share.

But when the meal was over, the stork was as hungry as he had been before it began. He was a proud bird however and he hid his disappointment and disgust. "A very excellent dish of rabbit!" he said condescendingly. "I hardly like to venture to return your hospitality, but if you will dine with me tomorrow, I will show you a frog stew, that will, I hope, be nearly as good."

The fox accepted the invitation, for he was rather fond of frogs. The next evening, he brushed his coat, smoothed his whiskers and set out to dine with the stork. He found his host ready to welcome him at the edge of the reeds.

"Pray come in! Pray come in!" said the stork leading the way into the bulrushes. "Our little meal is quite ready. I am only sorry. I have no plates! But we can eat out of the same dish quite comfortably."

He waved a claw in the direction of the aforesaid dish. He had used a big jar for the delicious frog stew. With a neck as long as his own, he started eating up from the jar out of which came a smell quite as appetizing as the smell of the last night's rabbit soup.

"Please, help yourself" the stork said genially to his visitor, “You will find that the stew is done to perfection."

He stuck his long neck down to the bottom of the jar and brought up a big frog which he greedily swallowed while the cunning fox looked on. Every time the stork pulled up a frog, he invited the fox to do the same. But the fox could only sit on his haunches, staring at the jai and trying to hide both his annoyance and his hunger.

At last, the stork finished up all the frogs and then, for the first time, broke into a croaking laugh. "Ah! Dear Fox, dear fox!" said he, "You decided to make fun of my long neck and beak. But I think the laugh is on my side tonight, for I have paid back your practical joke with interest!"

The cunning fox felt ashamed and returned to his burrow. From that day onwards he never made fun of anyone. He had learnt his lesson from the stork, that "everyone will get one's chance to show one's ability."

MORAL : Do not make fun of others on their outward looks.

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