“I must have that water. I will have it,” he said.
Again he stretched his neck into the pitcher. No, he could not reach it.
He stopped a second and seemed to be thinking; then he said, “I will break the pitcher. My bill is strong and hard.” So he gave the pitcher a hard thump. It did not break. He “thumped! thumped! thumped!” first here, then there. What a strong pitcher that was! It did not even crack.
“This will not do,” he said. “I must try some other plan. I am big and strong. I will tip the pitcher over.”
With that he pushed against it with his breast. It did not move. It seemed as if he must give up the attempt to get the water, but he did not once think of doing that.
Near by in the path lay some pebbles. The crow picked up one in his bill and let it fall into the pitcher. He dropped one after another into it. He could see the water rising a little. Now he worked harder than ever.
Before very long the water had risen so high that he could reach it with his bill. How refreshing it was! He drank as much as he wished, then flew away.
THE GROCER AND HIS DONKEY
A grocer went to a city not far away to get some salt. He took his donkey along to carry the load. On their way they had to cross a little stream over which there was only a narrow footbridge.
When they reached the city, the grocer placed some heavy sacks of salt upon the donkey’s back and they started homeward.
On reaching the middle of the stream, the donkey stumbled and fell. As he arose, the water dripped down his sides and he noticed that his load had become much lighter.
The grocer had lost so much salt that it was necessary for him to return to the city and get a fresh supply. This time he put on a heavier load than at first.
When they reached the stream, the donkey said to himself, “This is a very heavy load that I am carrying, but I know how to make it lighter,” and he lay down in the stream. When he arose, his load was much lighter, as he had expected.
“I will break him of that trick,” said the grocer.
He drove the donkey to the city again, and heaped great bags of sponges upon his back.
The load was not very heavy, but the donkey said to himself, “I will make it still lighter.”
When he came to the stream, he lay down again in the water. He started to rise, but to his surprise he could hardly get up.
“What can be the matter?” he thought.
His master, laughing, said, “Have you learned your lesson, old fellow? We shall see.”
He drove the groaning donkey slowly back to the city, took the sponges from his back, and loaded him again with salt.
When the donkey came again to the stream, he picked his way carefully, for he did not wish to fall. This time he got across safely, and the grocer arrived at home with his entire load of salt.