2018-01-17

Aesop: The Owl and the Grasshopper

I was wondering how to follow up the story of the sneaky meals served by the fox and the stork, and the first fable that came to mind is the fable of an owl and a noisy insect, who is sometimes a cicada, and sometimes a grasshopper.. If you have noisy neighbors, you will sympathize with the owl, but please don't do what the owl does!

I've collected different English versions and illustrations of the story, and the one I chose for this post is by Jenny H. Stickeny, illustrated by Charles Livingston Bull.

THE OWL AND THE GRASSHOPPER

An Owl, who was sitting in a hollow tree, dozing away a long summer afternoon, was much disturbed by a rogue of a Grasshopper, singing in the grass below. So far from moving away at the request of the Owl, or keeping quiet, the Grasshopper sang all the more, saying that honest people got their sleep at night.

The Owl waited in silence for a while, and then artfully addressed the Grasshopper thus: "I suppose I ought to be angry with you, my dear, for I confess I would rather sleep than listen to your singing. But if one cannot be allowed to sleep, it is something to be kept awake by such a pleasant little pipe as yours. And now it occurs to me that I have some delicious nectar with which to reward a musician who sings so sweetly. If you will take the trouble to come up, you shall have a drop. It will clear your voice nicely."

The silly Grasshopper came hopping up to the Owl, who at once caught and killed him, and so finished her nap in comfort.



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