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Fairy Stories and Fables by  James Baldwin
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TWO FOOLISH BIRDS

[94] A BLACKBIRD looked into a dovecote one day and saw how happy and well-fed the Doves seemed to be. He thought that if he were only a Dove he would have a very easy life of it. So he painted himself white and went into the dovecote to live. He did very well so long as he kept his mouth shut; but as soon as he tried to speak or to sing, the Doves found him out and drove him away.

Then, in great distress, he flew back to his old home in the woods. But the Blackbirds who had once been his friends did not know him and would not let him come among them. So, in trying to get into better company than his own, he was left without any companions at all.

I once heard of a Bluejay who was even more foolish than the Blackbird. The Bluejay happened to find some bright peacock's feathers in the barnyard, and being very vain he stuck them in his wings and tail.


[Illustration]

[95] "How fine I am!" he said; and he looked back at himself and tried to strut like a Peacock. "No more living with the jays for me. I'm too big a bird for that."

But the Peacocks only laughed at him; and when at last he tried to go back to his mates they would have nothing to do with him.


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