Aesop's Fable 124: The Crow and the Fox

There was once a crow who had stolen a big piece of cheese from a farmhouse. Holding the cheese in his beak, the crow flew up to the top of a tree, ready to enjoy his feast. Just at that moment a fox walked by and noticed the cheese. "I bet I can trick that crow," thought the fox. "Let's see if I can get that cheese for myself!"

"My dear crow," yelled the fox, "I see you are looking especially attractive today! Such lovely feathers, such powerful talons, and such a beautiful beak. Truly, I have never seen another bird as handsome as you."

The crow looked down at the fox, surprised and flattered by these unexpected compliments.

"Yes," continued the fox, "you would surely be considered the best of all the birds if only your voice were as beautiful as your body."

The crow, eager to demonstrate the beauty of his voice, opened his beak and began to squawk. The cheese, meanwhile, fell to the ground where the fox was waiting. The fox immediately grabbed the cheese and ran off, leaving the crow to bewail his loss.

"Alas," cried the crow, "what a fool I was to listen to the fox! Now I am left with nothing, all because I believed the fox's flattering words."

The moral of the story is that you should never let compliments cloud your judgment.

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