THE MINOR HISTORICAL WORKS
drawing water from the rock, he followed the holy St. Benedict, who did almost the same thing, and in the same way, though more abundantly, because there were more who were in want of water. And in driving away the birds, he imitated the reverend and holy father, St. Antony, who by his word alone drove away the wild asses from the garden which he had planted.
Miracle of the crows.
HOW THE CROWS APOLOGIZED TO THE MAN OF GOD FOR THE INJURY WHICH THEY DID HIM, AND MADE HIM A PRESENT IN COMPENSATION.
§ 34. I am
here tempted to relate another miracle which he wrought in imitation of the aforesaid father, St. Benedict, in which the obedience and humility of birds are a warning to the perversity and pride of mankind. There were some crows which had long been accustomed to build in the island. One day the man of God saw them, whilst making their nests, pull out the thatch of the hut which he had made to entertain the brethren in, and carry it away to build with. He immediately stretched out his hand, and warned them to do no harm to the brethren. As they neglected his command, he said to them, "In the name of Jesus Christ, depart as speedily as possible, and do not presume to remain any longer in the place, to which you are doing harm." He had scarcely uttered these words, when they flew away in sorrow. At the end of three days one of the two returned, and finding the man of God digging in the field, spread out its wings in a pitiable manner, and bending its head down before his feet, in a tone of humility asked pardon, by the most expressive signs it could; and obtained from the reverend