The two tall mountains stood majestic over the valley. The valley lay between them. It was a beautiful sight. Flocks of sheep grazed here and there. From the distance, the white sheep looked like pieces of cotton lying on the valley.
The shepherds who brought the sheep into the valley also brought shepherd dogs with them. These shepherd dogs would run about the sheep. They would prevent the sheep from getting away from the flock. These dogs would also protect the sheep from their enemies such as wolves.
At the head of every flock was a sheep with a bell around its neck. This was the bellwether sheep. As the sheep moved its head while grazing, the bell around its neck would ring. The other sheep would hear its sound and move along with the flock.
However, not all was peaceful as it appeared. High in the mountains, an eagle had built its nest in a space between the rocks. The eagle had just hatched a clutch of eggs. It had two baby chicks. Every day the eagle would leave the nest and fly far and wide over the mountains in search of food. It would bring home small animals such as rabbits, lizards, even snakes.
Occasionally, the eagle would swoop down into the valley and pick a small lamb when the shepherds were not looking. It was a dangerous business. The shepherds had sharp pointed sticks with which they would try to drive away the eagle. The dogs which guarded the sheep would also chase the eagle away. The eagle had to catch the right size of sheep. If it tried to catch a heavy animal, it would not be able to lift it and it would have to abandon its prey.
It was a bright sunny day in the valley. The sheep were grazing in the valley. As the sun rose higher in the sky and the weather became hot, the few shepherds who guarded the sheep sat down under some nearby trees for some rest. The dogs which guarded the sheep were also lying down. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the eagle soared high in the sky – so high that nobody on the ground could see it.
Eagles have very sharp vision. From high in the sky, the eagle looked down at the valley. He could see the individual sheep clearly. It looked across the flock to find an easy meal. He settled for a young lamb that had strayed away from the flock.
Quick as lightning, the eagle swooped down. Its sharp claws clasped the lamp. In seconds, the eagle was on its way up with the helpless lamb in its claws. While all this was happening, a crow watched the spectacle from a tree in the valley. He was amazed at how easy the eagle got its meal. The crow had to fly over a huge area to get some food. In spite of that he would only get leftovers and rotting food to eat. It was surprised to see such an easy meal lie very near his place.
He needed to do only what the eagle just did, or so he thought. He wondered why he did not think of this before. He would not longer fly around in search of food all day. The next day, the crow woke up early in the morning. He waited patiently for the shepherds to arrive with their flocks.
He waited till the noon as the shepherds lay down under the trees. The dogs too were not to attentive.
The crow then flew high in the sky just as he though the eagle had done. The eagle could rise hundreds of feet into the air. It could also dive fast. The crow could fly only a short height above. Nevertheless, the crow rose into the air. From there, it looked down at the flock. It saw a fat sheep in the herd. “Surely, this sheep would provide food for over a month”, it thought.
Congratulating himself, the crow flew down and clasped the wool on the sheep’s back. As he tried to lift the sheep, the crow discovered that it could not. The crow was not strong enough to lift a sheep. Surprised, the crow tried to fly away. But to his shock, he found that his claws had got entangled in the sheep’s wool. The crow now grew terrified. He tried desperately to free himself from the wool but in vain.
As the crow struggled to free itself, the sheep got frightened. They began to bleat. The dogs were woken by the noise from the herd. As they came nearer they saw the crow. The crow was cawing helplessly. The dogs pounced on the crow and killed it. That was the sad end of the crow who tried to imitate an eagle.
Children, this story teach us not to blindly imitate anyone. Every person will have a particular way of doing things. Besides, it is not possible to do everything someone is doing. Before, doing anything it is better to see if we have the skills and the strength to do it.