The Eagle and the Kite

by Aesop

I seek for a mate suitable for me and am not able to find one.

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: for 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. 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.

Promises of a suitor must be taken with caution.


Aesop's Fables
Copyright 1881
Translator: unknown
WM. L. Allison, New York
Illustrator: Harrison Weir, John Tenniel, Ernest Griset,