Aesop's Fables: Townsend (1867)
308. The Eagle and the Kite (Perry
AN EAGLE, overwhelmed with sorrow, sat upon the branches of a tree in
company with a Kite. 'Why,' said the Kite, 'do I see you with such a rueful
look?' 'I seek,' she replied, 'a mate suitable for me, and am not able
to find one.' 'Take me,' returned the Kite, 'I am much stronger than you
are.' 'Why, are you able to secure the means of living by your plunder?'
'Well, I have often caught and carried away an ostrich in my talons.'
The Eagle, persuaded by these words, accepted him as her mate. Shortly
after the nuptials, the Eagle said, 'Fly off and bring me back the ostrich
you promised me.' The Kite, soaring aloft into the air, brought back the
shabbiest possible mouse, stinking from the length of time it had lain
about the fields. 'Is this,' said the Eagle, 'the faithful fulfillment
of your promise to me?' The Kite replied, 'That I might attain your royal
hand, there is nothing that I would not have promised, however much I
knew that I must fail in the performance.'
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