Page:An argosy of fables.djvu/302

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

244
ORIENTAL FABLES

THE PEACOCK, THE CROW AND THE TORTOISE

A PEACOCK and a Crow once came together in the inner courtyard of a palace and began to discuss their respective beauty and defects. The Peacock said to the Crow: "Those red boots on your feet are much better suited to go with the gold-embroidered silk and variegated brocade of my attire. Evidently in the days when we were first created we made the mistake of putting on the wrong boots, we Peacocks taking your black Crows' boots of untanned leather, while you Crows put on our red boots of fine-grained, perfumed morocco."

The Crow replied, "It was just the other way. If there was any mistake made it was in our garments and not our boots. None of your feathers match your boots; so it must be that when we were still half dazed by the light of day, you put your necks within our coat-collars and we Crows put our necks within those intended for you."

Now all this time there was a Tortoise near by who had drawn his head within his shell and was listening with interest. At this point he thrust out his head and spoke as follows:

"Good friends, pray drop this foolish argument and put an end to such profitless conversation. There is no living creature who has had granted to him all his desires. There is no one who does not have some peculiarity which makes him different from the rest, no one but what has some special quality which others might well envy. Accordingly, every one of us ought to be thankful for such good things as it has pleased heaven to grant us."

(Jami, The Baharistan.)