A bleacher, who was wont to go to the river each morning to wash his clothes, saw there one day a Crane. The Crane was standing on the bank of the stream catching small fish to eat. Just at that moment a swift-flying Hawk appeared, in pursuit of a fat Quail. The Hawk, after he had caught the Quail and eaten a part of it, left the rest on the ground, and the Crane at once devoured it. He had never before tasted such delicious meat, and decided that hereafter he would eat nothing but quails.
The next day, as he stood on one leg by the river, a Pigeon flew past. The Crane at once took wing and started after it. The Pigeon chose her path along the banks of the stream, and kept well in advance. The Crane, in the rear, soon fell into the mud. The more he fluttered his wings, the faster his feet stuck in the mire.
The Pigeon was hardly out of sight before the Bleacher came by and easily caught the Crane. On his way home a friend met him, who inquired,—
“What have you there?”
The Bleacher laughed. “This is a simple-minded Crane,” he said, “who was not content to be what God made him, but must try to imitate a swift-flying Hawk. Naturally he has come to a bad end.”