The Crane And The Hummingbird

Once there was a beautiful girl who had many suitors, and among the

most persistent were the Crane and the Hummingbird. She rather fancied

the latter, since the Crane was a long-legged, awkward fellow, not at

all to her taste. In order to rid herself of his pretensions once and

for all, she told them that they might fly round the world, and the

first one to return should be her husband. As the Hummingbird is very

swift, she had no doubt of the result.

At the end of the first day, he had indeed a long start. Well

pleased, he tucked his head under his wing and went to sleep. About

midnight, the Crane overtook him and flew on. The Hummingbird passed

him at breakfast time and again secured a long lead. But in the night

time, while he slept, the unwearied Crane flew on, each night

overtaking him earlier, till he had gained a whole day and won the


After all, he did not win a wife, for the maiden was so much chagrined

by the failure of her plan that she has stayed single to this day.

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