The Story of the Owl and the Grasshopper

The Owl and the Grasshopper

The Owl and the Grasshopper – 11″ x 14″ Acrylic on Canvas by Amanda Zirzow

The Great Horned Owl (scientific name Bubo virginianus) is a large owl with wide-set ear tufts. These owls are nocturnal, sleeping during the day. When the sun sets, you can hear her hoo-hoo-hoo-oo-oo as she sets off to hunt for insects, frogs, and mice she loves to eat.

As this owl grew older and wiser, she also became more cross and hard to please, especially if anything disturbed her daily slumber.

Out popped the old Owl’s head from the opening in the tree that served her both for door and for window.

“Get away from here, sir,” she said to the Grasshopper. “Have you no manners? You should at least respect my age and leave me to sleep in quiet!”

But the Grasshopper answered saucily that he had as much right to his place in the sun as the Owl had to her place in the old oak. Then he struck up a louder and still more rasping tune.

The wise old Owl knew quite well that it would do no good to argue with the Grasshopper, nor with anybody else for that matter. Besides, her eyes were not sharp enough by day to permit her to punish the Grasshopper as he deserved. So she laid aside all hard words and spoke very kindly to him…

Demise of the Grasshopper

“Well sir,” the owl said to the grasshopper, “if I must stay awake, I am going to settle right down to enjoy your singing. Now that I think of it, I have a wonderful wine here, sent me from Olympus, of which I am told Apollo drinks before he sings to the high gods. Please come up and taste this delicious drink with me. I know it will make you sing like Apollo himself.”

The foolish Grasshopper was taken in by the Owl’s flattering words. Up he jumped to the Owl’s den, but as soon as he was near enough so the old Owl could see him clearly, she pounced upon him and ate him up.

The moral of the story is flattery is not proof of true admiration. Do not let flattery throw you off your guard against an enemy.

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