| Jataka Tales|
|by Ellen C. Babbitt|
|Eighteen fables from the Jatakas of India, skillfully retold and attractively illustrated. Includes The Monkey and the Crocodile, The Merchant of Seri, The Turtle Who Wouldn’t Stop Talking, The Foolish Timid Rabbit, The Banyan Deer, and others. Ages 7-10 |
WHY THE OWL IS NOT KING OF THE BIRDS
HY is it that Crows torment the Owls as they sleep in the
daytime? For the same reason
that the Owls try to kill the Crows while they sleep at
Listen to a tale of long ago and then you will see why.
Once upon a time, the people who lived together when the
world was young took a certain man for their king. The
four-footed animals also took one of their number for their
king. The fish in the ocean chose a king to rule over them.
Then the birds gathered together on a great flat rock,
"Among men there is a king, and among the beasts, and the
fish have one, too; but we birds have none. We ought to have
a king. Let us choose one now."
And so the birds talked the matter over and at last they all
said, "Let us have the Owl for our king."
"See how soure he looks right now."
 No, not all, for one old Crow rose up and said, "For my
part, I don't want the Owl to be our king. Look at him now
while you are all crying that you want him for your king.
See how sour he looks right now. If that's the cross look he
wears when he is happy, how will he look when he is angry?
I, for one, want no such sour-looking king!"
Then the Crow flew up into the air crying, "I don't
 like it! I don't like it!" The Owl rose and
followed him. From that time on the Crows and the Owls have
been enemies. The birds chose a Turtle Dove to be their
king, and then flew to their homes.
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