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TALES FROM READERS

The Crow That Boasted

One day a crow was hopping along the sea in search of bugs to eat. Just then a flock of geese flew down to the sea for a bath, their huge wings flapping wildly. When the crow saw them he roared with laughter and said, 'How clumsy and large you look! See how graceful and sleek I am though dark in color. Can you fly around in circles? Can you turn somersaults in the air? Can you at least sit on a telegraph pole? Ha...ha...ha! What a sight you guys look, to be sure.'
When the geese did not utter a word, the crow got irritated. He was in the mood for a quarrel but there was nothing forthcoming.
'Will one of you guys come out and fly with me so we can see who is best?' he challenged.
And the crow lifted his wings, flew straight into the air, swooped down and then flew in wide circles, sat on the stump of a palm tree and cawed lustily. He entertained the watching geese with all the acrobatics he knew. Then he flew down to the geese with a grin on his face.
'Saw that?' he said. 'Now this is what I call graceful flying expected from birds like us. Now let's see what you guys can do.'
The geese were silent. After what seemed hours, a goose slowly waddled forward.
'I am ready to fly with you,' he said. 'But I am an old goose and cannot fly for long.'
'Ha!' said the crow. 'I don't need lame excuses. Let us see what you can do.'
The old goose flapped his wings and flew into the air and over the sea. The crow flew along with him, passing comments on the way the goose flew.
They two flew on and on till they had left the land far behind. The crow was getting tired. He looked down and saw water all around, only water and nothing else. He got terrified and needless to say a little tired. He stopped passing comments on the goose and simply flew along thankful that he had company.
As time passed the crow grew more and more tired till he could hardly flap his wings. And yet the goose flew on and on, graceful as ever.
'Er…Goosey,' said the exhausted crow. 'When are we reaching land?'
'In a few days, probably,' said the goose. 'Why do you ask?'
'I am feeling awe little tired,' said the crow. 'I don't think I have another flap left in my wings.'
'Why then,' said the goose kindly. 'You can sit on my wings and I shall fly you across the sea back to where we came from.'
The crow, needless to say, felt very ashamed of himself. When they reached back home, the geese waiting on land were surprised to see a humble crow sitting astride the old goose. The crow learned never to boast again.

Based on a Indian Folktale
By Gayathri Krishnan
Erode

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STORY LIST

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