Learning to Rely on Yourself

The Lark and The Farmer

A meadow lark built her nest in a field of wheat. She had a happy time raising her family, for no one came near her nest.

There were four little larks in her family, and they were now nearly large enough to fly.

The wheat was ripe and the mother knew that men might come to the field any day to reap; so she said to her little ones, "I am going out to get your breakfast. You must keep your ears and eyes wide open while I am gone; if you see or hear anything strange, you must tell me about it when I come back."

"All right, mother," said the young larks, "we shall do as you tell us."

The mother had been gone but a few minutes when the farmer who owned the field and his son came out to look at the wheat.

"This grain is ready to cut," said the farmer to his son. "This evening go to our neighbor, Mr. White, and ask him to cut it for us tomorrow."

The little larks were much frightened. They could hardly wait for their mother to get home.

"Oh, mother!" they called out as soon as they saw her; "do take us away from this field. The farmer has sent for Mr. White to cut this wheat tomorrow."

"If that is so," said the mother, "you need have no fear. If he waits for his neighbor to do his work, his wheat will not be cut."

Late the next afternoon while the mother lark was away, the farmer and his son came to the field again.

"Did you ask Mr. White to reap the grain?" said the farmer.

"Yes," replied his son, "and he promised to come."

"But he has not come," said the farmer, "and it is so late that I know he will not come today. The wheat will spoil if it is not cut. If our neighbors will not help us, we shall have to call upon our relatives. Go out this afternoon and ask your uncle John and his sons to cut the wheat for us tomorrow."

As soon as the mother came home, the little birds said, "The wheat will surely be cut tomorrow, for the farmer has sent for his relatives to cut it. Please take us away tonight, mother." "Don't worry," said the mother; "there is no danger so long as the farmer waits for his relatives to do the work. We will stay right here tonight."

About noon the next day, the farmer and his son came to the field again. "This grain is still standing," said the father. "I told you to get your uncle John and his sons to cut it today. Why has nothing been done?"

"I called upon them and asked them to cut the wheat. They said that they would be here this morning. I do not know why they did not come."

"This grain must not stand another day," said the farmer. "It is shelling out now. You and I will come out here early tomorrow and cut it ourselves."

When the mother lark heard that the farmer had made up his mind to cut the wheat himself, she said to her little ones, "Get ready to fly away. If the farmer is to do the work himself, it will be done at once."

More Fairy Tales and Fables

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