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The Book of Fables and Folk Stories by  Horace E. Scudder

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THE LARK AND HER YOUNG ONES

THERE was a brood of young Larks in a field of corn, which was just ripe. The mother, looking every day for the reapers, left word, whenever she went out in search of food, that her young ones should tell her all the news they heard.

One day, when she was absent, the master came to look at his field. "It is time," said he, [111] "to call in my neighbors and get my corn reaped." When the old Lark came home, the young ones told their mother what they had heard, and begged her to move them at once.

"Time enough," said she. "If he trusts to his neighbors, he will have to wait awhile yet for his harvest."

Next day, the owner came again, and found the sun hotter, the corn riper, and nothing done.

"There is not an hour to be lost," said he. "We cannot depend upon our neighbors. We must call in our relations." Turning to his son, he said, "Go, call your uncles and cousins; and see that they begin to-morrow."

The young Larks, in great fear, told their mother what the farmer had said. "If that be all," said she, "do not be frightened. The relations have harvest work of their own. But take notice of what you hear next time, and be sure to let me know."

She went abroad the next day, and the owner coming, and finding the grain falling to the ground because it was over ripe, said to his son, "We must wait no longer for our neighbors and friends. Do you go to-night and hire some reapers, and we will set to work ourselves to-morrow."

[112] When the young Larks told their mother this,

"Then," said she, "it is time for us to be off. When a man takes up his business himself, instead of leaving it to others, you may be sure that he means to set to work in earnest."


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