The Need for Vigilance

An Educational Fable for 7th Graders

Copyright 2000 by Hugo S. Cunningham
File added 001201
Last minor change 001201

The following story appears as an English-language reading lesson in
E. Belova and L. Todd,English: A Textbook of the English Language for the 7th Grade in 7-year and Secondary Schools (third edition)State Textbook and Pedagogical Publishers of the Ministry of Education of the RSFSR, Moscow, 1951; pp. 92-93.


A Fable

A farmer had a field of corn that was nearly ripe. One day he notice that a number of cranes were coming to his field and eating his corn.

"If I let those cranes eat my corn," he said, "I and my family shall go hungry in the winter. I shall put a net in the field and catch them."

So the farmer put a net in his field and went home. The next morning he went to the field to see how many cranes were caught. There were many of them, and among them he saw one stork.

"Hallo!" said the farmer. "There's a stork among them! How did he get into the company of cranes, I wonder?"

As if in answer, the stork began to speak.

"Don't kill me," said the stork. "Let me go! I am not a crane. I have eaten none of your corn. I am a poor stork as you can see, the best and kindest of birds. I help my father and mother; I ..."

But the farmer did not let him say any more. "All this may be true, perhaps," he said, "but I know that I have caught you with those who eat my corn. You must suffer with those with whom you are caught."

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