The Owl And The Grasshopper
Now, you probably already know that owls usually spend their daytimes fast asleep. But as soon as it gets dark, out they come from their roosts, with a "Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo", to hunt for their favourite foods, like insects, frogs and mice.
Once upon a time there was a certain owl who had got very bad-tempered in her old age. She really didn’t like it one bit if any noises disturbed her daily sleeps. One sunny afternoon, she was having a lovely sleep in her roost, inside a hollow tree, when something woke her up.
It was actually a happy grasshopper song, which sounds a bit like chirping. But to her it sounded awful. She popped her head out of the hole in the tree and immediately saw the grasshopper who was making all the noise.
"Go away at once," she ordered the grasshopper, "please have some manners and let an old owl sleep in peace!"
The grasshopper stopped his chirping for a moment and said that he had every right to chirp where he liked, after all, that’s what grasshoppers do. So he started chirping again, only this time, even more loudly than before.
The old owl knew that it was probably not a good idea to get into an argument with the grasshopper. It was daytime, after all and she couldn’t see him that well as owls’ eyes work best at night. Then she suddenly had an idea.
"Well, lovely cricket," she said, in a kind voice, "I suppose I’m wide awake now and do you know, after a little while your chirping is starting to sound quite beautiful to me. So, I shall perch here and enjoy your lovely singing. Oh, I’ve just remembered that here in my hollow tree I’ve got some delicious nectar. I believe it will make you sing even more beautifully than any grasshopper who has ever lived. Why don’t you just pop up here and have a little taste?"
Oh dear, the foolish grasshopper believed every word and he was very flattered to think his singing might be more beautiful than any other grasshopper. So, with a couple of hops, he was right next to the old owl. Now, of course, she could see him very clearly and with one quick movement she gobbled him up.
And the moral of the story is that you shouldn’t always believe flattery as there may be a hidden reason for it.