Aesop's Fables: Townsend (1867)
202. The Lark and Her Young Ones (Perry
A LARK had made her nest in the early spring on the young green wheat.
The brood had almost grown to their full strength and attained the use
of their wings and the full plumage of their feathers, when the owner
of the field, looking over his ripe crop, said, 'The time has come when
I must ask all my neighbors to help me with my harvest.' One of the young
Larks heard his speech and related it to his mother, inquiring of her
to what place they should move for safety. 'There is no occasion to move
yet, my son,' she replied; 'the man who only sends to his friends to help
him with his harvest is not really in earnest.' The owner of the field
came again a few days later and saw the wheat shedding the grain from
excess of ripeness. He said, 'I will come myself tomorrow with my laborers,
and with as many reapers as I can hire, and will get in the harvest.'
The Lark on hearing these words said to her brood, 'It is time now to
be off, my little ones, for the man is in earnest this time; he no longer
trusts his friends, but will reap the field himself.'
Self-help is the best help.
George Fyler Townsend's translation of the fables, first published in 1867, is
in the public domain and can be found at many websites, including Project
Illustrations come from: Aesop's Fables, by George Fyler Townsend, with
illustrations by Harrison Weir, 1867, at Google