The Lark and Her Young Ones

There was once a nest of young larks in a field of corn that had just become ripe, and the mother was on the lookout every day for the reapers. Whenever she went in search of food, she told her young ones to report all the news they heard to her. One day, while she was absent, the master came to inspect the condition of the crops.

“It’s high time to call together my neighbours and reap my corn,” he said.

When the mother lark came home, the young ones told her what they had heard and begged her to remove them from the field right away.

“There’s plenty of time,” she said. “If he’s counting on his neighbours, he’ll have to wait a while yet for his harvest.”

Next day, however, the owner came again, and finding the sun even hotter, the corn riper, and nothing done, he said, “There’s not a moment to lose. Since I can’t depend on my neighbours, I must call together my relatives.” And, turning to his son, he said, “Go call your uncles and cousins, and see whether they can begin tomorrow.

In greater fear than ever before, the young ones repeated the farmer’s words to their mother.

“If that’s all there is,” she said, “don’t be frightened, for the relatives have their own harvest work to finish. But be sure you pay attention to what you hear the next time, and let me know what the farmer says.”

The following day the mother went out in search of food, and the owner came once again. Finding that the corn was falling to the ground because it was too ripe, and seeing that nobody was at work, he called to his son.

“We can no longer wait for our neighbours and friends.

Go and hire some reapers tonight, and we’ll get to work ourselves tomorrow.

When the young ones told their mother what they had heard, she said, “Well then, it’s time to be off, for when a man makes up his mind to do his work himself instead of leaving it to others to do, you can be sure that he means to do what he says.

Old Learning: Self-help is the best help.

New Take

Doing everything when it is absolutely mandatory leads to a bad deal. The lark could have utilized the time to find a better place. The story doesn’t tell where she landed up finally.

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