THE BIRD-CATCHER, THE PARTRIDGE AND THE ROOSTER
A bird-catcher received an unexpected visit from a friend just as he was about
to dine on a simple meal of herbs and parsley. Since he hadn't actually caught
anything lately, the bird-cage was empty, so the man decided to slaughter a
speckled partridge that he had tamed to use as a decoy. The partridge begged
the bird catcher not to kill him, 'My dear man, how will you hunt with your
net in the future? Who will assemble that flock of gregarious, keen-eyed birds
on your behalf? And who will serenade you with singing as you drift off to sleep?'
The bird catcher let go of the partridge, and decided to kill the bearded rooster
instead. The rooster, however, let out a squawk from his perch and said, 'If
you kill me, how will you know how much longer it is until dawn, since I am
the one who tells you the time? How will you know that Orion with his golden
bow is on watch during the night? Who will remind you of the morning's work,
announcing the dew on the birds' outstretched wings?' The man said, 'It is useful
indeed to know what time it is, but all the same, my friend has got to have
something to eat!'