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THE BIRDS, THE BEASTS, AND THE BAT
 THE BIRDS and the Beasts declared war against each other. No
compromise was possible, and so
they went at it tooth and claw.
I t is said the quarrel grew out of
the persecution the race of Geese
suffered at the teeth of the Fox
family. The Beasts, too, had
cause for fight. The Eagle was
constantly pouncing on the Hare,
and the Owl dined daily on Mice.
It was a terrible battle. Many
a Hare and many a Mouse died.
Chickens and Geese fell by the
score—and the victor always
stopped for a feast.
Now the Bat family had not
openly joined either side. They
were a very politic race. So when
they saw the Birds getting the
better of it, they were Birds for
all there was in it. But when the
tide of battle turned, they immediately sided with the Beasts.
When the battle was over, the
conduct of the Bats was discussed
at the peace conference. Such
deceit was unpardonable, and
Birds and Beasts made common
cause to drive out the Bats. And
since then the Bat family hides in
dark towers and deserted ruins,
flying out only in the night.
The deceitful have no friends.