A singing-bird was confined in a cage which hung outside a window, and had a way of singing at night when all other birds were asleep. One night a bat came and clung to the bars of the cage, and asked the bird why she was silent by day and sang only at night.

“I have a very good reason for doing so,” said the bird: “it was once when I was singing in the daytime that a fowler was attracted by my voice, and set his nets for me and caught me. Since then I have never sung except by night.”

But the bat replied, “It is no use your doing that now when you are a prisoner: if only you had done so before you were caught, you might still have been free.”

Precautions are useless after the event.

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