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♦ The Eagle and the Fox ♦

An eagle and a fox once struck up an unlikely friendship. They decided to live near each other and so, when the eagle built her nest at the top of a tall tree, the fox made a den in the undergrowth below, and there she raised her cubs.

But times were hard for the eagle, and she had many hungry mouths to feed. One day, when she had nothing to offer her little eaglets, she swooped down to the ground below while the fox was out and seized one of the young cubs, which she took back to the nest to feast upon with her children.

When the fox returned to learn of her friend’s treachery, she was outraged. Of course, she was heartbroken at the loss of her cub, but what made her furious was the thought that there was no chance of her taking any revenge upon the eagle, for she could no more climb the tree than she could fly up to the nest. She could do no more than throw curses at her faithless friend while the eagle looked on from above unworried.

Nevertheless, a short time after this when the eagle was searching for food, she came upon an altar where some townsfolk had been sacrificing a goat. Swooping down, the eagle snatched up a chunk of the meat to carry back to her nest, but in her haste she did not notice that some hot coals were still stuck to it. When she dropped the food into her eyrie, the coals fell in too, and the wind fanned the sparks and swiftly kindled into flames the dry twigs of the nest. The eaglets, who were too young to fly, were roasted in the nest, and then fell to the ground where they were gobbled up by the fox, as their mother watched on, helplessly.

God is the ultimate judge.