Sunday, January 13, 2008

Why the Vulture is Bald

The vulture was originally a humble old bird, and rather stupid. His plumage was not exceptionally beautiful, but quite passable. One day, however, the noticed that his feathers were falling off. He consulted other birds, who told him that he was merely moulting, and new would grow later. But the vulture was pessimistic, and soon became thin and sickly with worry about his plumage. At last the other birds took pity on him, and each gave him a feather to stick on his body. When all the birds had given his their feathers, the vulture looked a wonderful bird with a plumage of all colors.

The vulture now became conceited. He strutted about in his borrowed feathers, and declared that he was the most beautiful of all the birds. He became more and more proud until he asked the birds to recognize him as their king. At this insolence, the birds pecked off, no only the feathers that they had given the vulture, but also the vulture's own feathers. So when the birds had finished with him, the vulture looked old and ugly and bald. That is why even at the present day the vulture is a sour and ugly old bird.

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