THE CRANE IN THE WHEAT-FIELDS
NCE, in the summer, when the wheat had grown high, a
crane was often seen in the fields belonging to the
Gotham townsmen, walking up and down in the grain
patches to catch frogs. This troubled the men of Gotham
"See how big he is," said one, "and look at the legs of
him. He is treading down a vast deal of grain, to be
"We must drive the animal away, or we shall have no
harvest," said another.
"Very true," said still another, "and the quicker the
better. Let us appoint Tom Thacker, the shepherd, for
the job. He is used to much walking and the work would
suit him well."
So Tom Thacker, the shepherd, was appointed to go into
the fields and chase the bird out. But as he went in
after the crane his neighbors noticed that his feet
were very broad and large, and though he scared
 off the bird, he at the same time trampled down a
great deal of wheat.
"That will never do," said one of the townsmen, and the
men of Gotham puzzled their brains for some better
At last one of them said, "The thing to do is this—some
of us must carry the shepherd when he goes into
the grain again, so that he shall not tread it down."
"Yes, yes," cried the others, "that is the proper thing
to do, and why did we not think of that before, I
 Then they took a stout fence gate off its hinges,
had the shepherd sit down on it, and eight men lifted
the gate on their shoulders and carried it through the
fields of wheat, where the crane was in the habit of
resorting, that the shepherd might scare the bird away.
"The shepherd will not trample down any more of our
grain with his big feet now," said the men of Gotham.
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