The Magpie and the Rat

Once there was a particularly bad winter, and the dove, pheasant, and magpie decided to visit the rats to beg for some food. The dove arrived first and cooed roughly, “Hey, little thieves! I’m hungry, bring me something to eat!” The wife of the rat ran out and smacked the dove soundly on both sides of its face, which is white it has circles on its cheeks to this day. Next, the pheasant arrived and stomped its feet, “Hey, you half-eaten thing of the cat! I need something to eat, bring me some food!” The wife of the rat ran out again and threw embers onto the pheasant, which is why to this day it is speckled. Finally, the magpie arrived and spoke, “Excuse me, Mr. and Mrs. Rat, the harvest has been quite bad this year, I would very much appreciate any morsels you could spare.” The wife of the rat came out and asked, “Don’t you live with those odious fellows the dove and the pheasant?” “In the same village, but not the same house,” replied the magpie. Satisfied, she returned with a bowl of food saying to Mr. Rat, “He is handsome and speaks well.”

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