Early one morning, a fox is walking through the woods. He is hungry, and he is looking for something to eat. He sees a crow sitting on the highest branch of a tree. The crow has a piece of cheese in her beak.
“Mmm… I love cheese!" thinks the fox. "I think I’ve found my breakfast! But how can I get the cheese?"
He thinks and he thinks. Then he has a clever idea. "I will make her talk!"
He sits at the bottom of the tree and looks up at the crow.
“Good morning, Miss Crow!” he says. "It’s a lovely day, isn’t it?"
The crow looks down at the fox. She says nothing.
"I said, good morning! Did you hear me?” says the fox. “Maybe you can’t hear me up there.”
The crow is suspicious. She holds the cheese tightly in her beak and says nothing.
"Hmm. This is not so easy," thinks the fox. But he doesn’t give up. He smiles at the crow.
“You know… you really are the most beautiful bird,” he says. “Your feathers are so shiny! Your eyes are so intelligent! Your beak is so…umm… pointy! Everything about you is perfect!”
Still, the crow says nothing.
So the fox says: “Tell me, Miss Crow… is your voice also magnificent? I hear that you have the most wonderful voice. Please sing for me! Just one song! Then I can tell everyone you really are the most incredible bird — the queen of all birds, in fact!”
This makes the crow feel good. She wants everyone to know she has a wonderful voice. She wants everyone to know that she is the queen of all birds.
She smiles a little smile. Then she smiles a big smile. Then she opens her mouth to sing her best song for the fox. And… plop! The cheese drops out of her beak and falls straight into the mouth of the fox. He swallows it in one gulp.
"Mmmmm. Thank you for the delicious breakfast, Miss Crow!" laughs the fox as he walks away. "Have a lovely day!”
Moral: Beware of flatterers. They often want something from you.