The Story of the Grasshopper and the Owl

Aesop’s Fables 8

The Owl never sleeps at night; she usually sleeps during the day. Then, after the sun had set, as the pink light from the sky began to fade and the darkness began to gently rise through the woods, out she came fluttering and blinking from the old hollow tree. Now her strange “hoo-hoo-hoo-oo-oo” resonates through the calm wood, and she starts her quest for the insects and beetles, frogs, and mice that she enjoys eating so very much.

Now, there was a specific elderly Owl who, as she got older, had developed a reputation for being quite irritable and difficult to appease, particularly if anything interrupted her routine naps. It was a pleasant summer day, and she was dozing off in her hideaway in the old oak tree when she heard a joyful but highly scratchy song coming from the adjacent grasshopper. The head of the elderly owl seemed to spring out of the hole in the tree that functioned both as an entrance and a window for the owl.

She told the Grasshopper to “Get out from here, sir,” and he complied. “Have you no politeness? You need to at least consider my age and let me sleep in peace and quietness by myself.”

However, the grasshopper replied in a saucy manner that he had just as much right to his spot in the sun as the Owl had to her perch in the old oak tree. After then, he began playing a melody that was both louder and much more hoarse than the previous one.

The experienced Owl was quite aware of the fact that arguing with the Grasshopper, or anybody else for that matter, would serve no purpose and would be a waste of time. In addition, her eyes were not keen enough during the day for her to be able to punish the Grasshopper as appropriately as he deserved to be punished. Therefore, she avoided using any harsh language and instead spoke with him in a very gentle manner.

“She responded by saying, “Well, mister, if I am going to have to stay awake, I am going to settle down right now and enjoy your music.” It just occurred to me that I have a lovely wine here that was delivered to me from Mount Olympus. I have been informed that Apollo consumes this wine before he sings to the higher gods. I would love it if you could join me in enjoying this wonderful beverage. I have no doubt that it will have you singing better than Apollo himself.”

The Grasshopper, being a simpleton, fell for the Owl’s attractive comments and was duped. He leaped high enough to reach the Owl’s nest, but as soon as he got close enough for the elderly owl to have a good look at him, she pounced on him and devoured him.

The expression of genuine appreciation cannot be inferred from flattery. It is important to remain vigilant in the face of an adversary, even if they flatter you.


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