Once a marsh crow lived by a pool when a famine made food so scarce that people would not spare food for the crows. One by one the crows left his famine-stricken land and flew into the woods. At this time a town crow and his mate came to the same pool and settled there.

One day, as the newcomer was seeking food about the pool he saw how Viraka went down into it, caught some fish; and afterwards came up out of the water again and dried his feathers.

“If I start to serte the fishing crow, I can get plenty of fish too,” thought the newcomer. So he drew near.

“What is it?” asked the marsh crow.

“I want to serve you!” was the answer.

The marsh crow said okay, and from that time the other served him and got a share of the first crow’s catches for himself and his wife.

After a while he started to think, “The fishing crow is black, and so am I. There is so little difference between us. I will catch my own fish!”

He told the fishing crow that for the future he intended to go down to the water and catch fish himself.

The fishing crow said, “Good friend, you do not belong to such crows that are born to go into water and catch fish. Don’t destroy yourself!”

But the city crow did not take the warning to heart.

Down he went to the pool, into the water; but he could not make his way through the weeds and come out again. There he was, entangled in the weeds, with only the tip of his beak above the water. Unable to breathe, he drowned.

His mate noticed that he did not return, and went to the fishing crow to ask news of him.

“Have you seen my mate, my sweet-voiced mate with a shining, black neck?” she asked.

“Yes, I know where he is gone,” the fishing crow said, much composed:

He had not learnt to dive beneath the waves,
Had not learnt to do it well.
But he tried.
As far as I can see,
He got entangled in the water weeds,
Of a watery grave.

When the mate of the drowned house crow heard these tidings, she wept much and returned to city life.

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