Just as she had settled there to enjoy her meat a fox came along and stopped under the tree. He sniffed something good to eat. Looking about, he saw the meat in the crow’s mouth and wanted it.
How could he get the meat? He could not climb the tree. What thing would he do if he could? The crow would fly away when she saw him coming. He could not coax the crow to come down to the ground. She knew what a fox likes to eat.
At last the fox had a happy thought. He said to himself, “A crow is one of the proudest birds I ever knew. I will flatter her and she will forget about the meat.”
So he called out in his sweetest voice, “Good day, my pretty bird”; but the crow did not reply. She only stepped about proudly on the branch.
“I wish I had such a beautiful form as you have,” said the fox.
Still no answer, but the crow held up her head and turned it first to one side and then to the other, showing that she was pleased.
“What a graceful neck and bright eye!” said the fox. “The other birds may be jealous of you.”
No answer yet. She only raised her wings a little and gazed down upon the fox.
“If your voice were only as beautiful as your form and your dress, you would be queen of all the birds; but it seems that you can not talk at all. What a pity that you are dumb!”
The crow gave a loud “caw!” As she did so, the meat fell from her mouth. The fox snapped it up quickly.
Poor crow, it was too late to see that the fox was only fooling her.