The Weasel and the Crow

A Fable

A sly and crafty weasel, returning from his fruitless hunting, was walking through the forest when suddenly he was disturbed by an obnoxious laughing come from the treetops above. The weasel looked up to see a crow sitting on a large branch.

"Pray tell, friend Crow," said the weasel, "What is it you find so amusing?"

To which the crow replied, "Ah, friend Weasel, how is it that you, the mightiest of all animals are forced to slink about on the ground like a common snake?" The weasel was glad to hear these words from Crow, and swelled his breast with pride. The crow continued: "Do you not feel that you should be able to fly through the air, as even a lowly bird like myself may do?"

Though the weasel had never before considered flight, the crow's suggestion seemed good to him. "Why should I, mightiest of the animals, be forced to dwell on the ground like a common snake?" he thought. "I want to soar through the air as even the lowliest of birds may do!"

Newly resolute, the weasel inquired of the crow, "Good friend Crow, there is merit to your words. But pray tell me how it is that I may gain this gift of flight."

"Ah, " the crow said. "It is not a difficult process at all! I'm actually rather surprised that someone as obviously brilliant as you are hasn't already thought of it."

"Yes, yes, quite true, " the weasel said impatiently. "Do go on."

"There are two simple steps you must take," the crow continued. "The first of these is to affix many feathers to yourself. Such feathers will grant you the ability to maintain your lofty altitude." And here the crow shook his wings for emphasis.

"And the second step?" the weasel inquired.

"Is quite simple. You need merely go to a cliff and throw yourself off the edge."

The weasel looked about nervously upon hearing this. "Surely, " the crow remonstrated, "someone as brave as you is not afraid to fly?"

"No, no, of course not, " the weasel assured the crow, preening his fur with mock-injured dignity.

"Well, then," said the crow, "as it happens I have here some feathers I can do without." And with that he hopped to his nest and began pulling out old feathers.

The weasel, somewhat taken aback by the fast pace of events, let the crow affix the feathers to his fur using pine sap.

Now here a word must be said about the crow. The crow, though once a great predator, had become old and was no longer able to hunt mice. In his desperation, he had thought of this clever plan. He would merely wait for the foolish weasel to kill himself on the rocky ground below the cliff and then feast upon the weasel's remains.

Once the feathers were attached securely to the weasel, the crow led him to a nearby cliff. "Now," said the crow eagerly, "you must hurl yourself off the cliff!"

The weasel looked down nervously. "I'm not sure I can do this. Why don't you show me how?"

The impatient crow flew down from his perch on a nearby oak tree. He calmly hopped to the edge of the cliff, whereupon the weasel pounced upon and devoured him.

And the moral of the story is: Don't try to trick a weasel, because it will eat you.