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Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)

Perry 298 (Ademar 19)

A crane and a crow had made a mutual pledge of assistance, agreeing that the crane was to defend the crow from other birds, while the crow would use her powers of prophecy to warn the crane about future events. These two birds often went to the field of a certain man and ate the crops that he had sowed there, tearing them up by the roots. When the farmer saw what was happening to his field, he was upset, and said to his boy, 'Give me a stone.' The crow alerted the crane, and they prudently made their escape. On another occasion, the crow again heard the farmer asking for a stone and warned the crane so that the crane would not get hurt. After some thought, the man understood that the crow was able to predict what was happening. He said to the boy, 'When I say, "give me some bread," I want you to give me a stone.' The farmer then went to the field and told the boy to give him some bread, so the boy gave him a stone. The farmer threw the stone at the crane and broke both his legs. The injured crane said to the crow, 'What has become of your god-given prophecies? Why didn't you warn me that this was going to happen?' The crow then said to the crane, 'In this case it is not my understanding that is at fault. The counsels of wicked people are always deceptive, since they say one thing and do another!'
For someone who seduces innocent people with his promises but later causes them nothing but trouble.

Note: For another fable about the crow's prophetic powers, see Fable 319.

Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
NOTE: New cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.