A skylark and an eagle met on a rock upon a high hill. The skylark said, “Good morrow to you, Sir.” And the eagle looked down upon him and said faintly, “Good morrow.”
And the skylark said, “I hope all things are well with you, Sir.”
“Aye,” said the eagle, “all is well with us. But do you not know that we are the king of birds, and that you shall not address us before we ourselves have spoken?”
Said the skylark, “Methinks we are of the same family.”
The eagle looked upon him with disdain and he said, “Who ever has said that you and I are of the same family?”
Then said the shylark, “But I would remind you of this, I can fly even as high as you, and I can sing and give delight to the other creatures of this earth. And you give neither pleasure nor delight.”
Then the eagle was angered, and he said, “Pleasure and delight! You little presumptuous creature! With one thrust of my beak I could destroy you. You are but the size of my foot.”
Then the skylark flew up and alighted upon the back of the eagle and began to pick at his feathers. The eagle was annoyed, and he flew swift and high that he might rid himself of the little bird. But he failed to do so. At last he dropped back to that very rock upon the high hill, more fretted than ever, with the little creature still upon his back, and cursing the fate of the hour.
Now at that moment a small turtle came by and laughed at the sight, and laughed so hard the she almost turned upon her back.
And the eagle looked down upon the turtle and he said, “You slow creeping thing, ever one with the earth, what are you laughing at?”
And the turtle said, “Why I see that you are turned horse, and that you have a small bird riding you, but the small bird is the better bird.”
And the eagle said to her, “Go you about your business. This is a family affair between my brother, the lark, and myself.”