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Good Stories for Great Holidays by  Frances Jenkins Olcott

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THE PROUD OAK TREE

OLD FABLE
(TRANSLATED)

THE oak said to the reed that grew by the river: "It is no wonder that you make such a sorrowful moaning, for you are so weak that the little wren is a burden for you, and the lightest breeze must seem like a storm-wind. Now look at me! No [374] storm has ever been able to bow my head. You will be much safer if you grow close to my side so that I may shelter you from the wind that is now playing with my leaves."

"Do not worry about me," said the reed; "I have less reason to fear the wind than you have. I bow myself, but I never break. He who laughs last, laughs best!"

That night there came a fearful hurricane. The oak stood erect. The reed bowed itself before the blast. The wind grew more furious, and, uprooting the proud oak, flung it on the ground.

When the morning came there stood the slender reed, glittering with dewdrops, and softly swaying in the breeze.


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