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The Vain Jackdaw

Fables

Aesop

A certain Jackdaw was so proud and ambitious that, not contented to live within his own sphere, he picked up the feathers which fell from the Peacocks, stuck them among his own, and very confidently introduced himself into an assembly of those beautiful birds. They soon found him out, stripped him of his borrowed plumes, and falling upon him with their sharp bills, punished him as his presumption deserved.

Upon this, full of grief and affliction, he returned to his old companions, and would have flocked with them again; but they, knowing his late life and conversation, industriously avoided him, and refused to admit him into their company; and one of them, at the same time, gave him this serious reproof: "If, friend, you could have been contented with your station, and had not disdained the rank in which nature had placed you, you had not been used so scurvily by those amongst whom you introduced yourself, nor suffered the notorious slight which we now think ourselves obliged to put upon you."

MORAL.

Great evils arise from vanity; for when we try to place ourselves in a position for which we are not fit, we are liable to be laughed at, and, when we would return to our former state, we find we have lost the esteem of our former friends.

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