THE OWL AND THE GRASSHOPPER
 THE OWL always takes her sleep
during the day. Then after sundown, when the rosy light fades
from the sky and the shadows
rise slowly through the wood, out
she comes ruffling and blinking
from the old hollow tree. Now
her weird "hoo-hoo-hoo-oo-oo"
echoes through the quiet wood,
and she begins her hunt for the
bugs and beetles, frogs and mice
she likes so well to eat.
Now there was a certain old
Owl who had become very cross
and hard to please as she grew
older, especially if anything disturbed her daily slumbers. One
warm summer afternoon as she
dozed away in her den in the old
oak tree, a Grasshopper nearby
began a joyous but very raspy
song. Out popped the old Owl's
head from the opening in the
tree that served her both for
door and for window.
"Get away from here, sir,"
she said to the Grasshopper.
"Have you no manners? You
should at least respect my age
and leave me to sleep in quiet!"
But the Grasshopper answered
saucily that he had as much right
to his place in the sun as the Owl
had to her place in the old oak.
 Then he struck up a louder and
still more rasping tune.
The wise old Owl knew quite
well that it would do no good
to argue with the Grasshopper,
nor with anybody else for that
matter. Besides, her eyes were
not sharp enough by day to
permit her to punish the Grasshopper as he deserved. So she
laid aside all hard words and
spoke very kindly to him.
"Well sir," she said, "if I must
stay awake, I am going to settle
right down to enjoy your singing.
Now that I think of it, I have a
wonderful wine here, sent me
from Olympus, of which I am
told Apollo drinks before he
sings to the high gods. Please
come up and taste this delicious
drink with me. I know it will
make you sing like Apollo himself."
The foolish Grasshopper was
taken in by the Owl's flattering
words. Up he jumped to the
Owl's den, but as soon as he
was near enough so the old
Owl could see him clearly, she
pounced upon him and ate him
Flattery is not a proof of true admiration.
Do not let flattery throw you off your guard against an enemy.
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