The Domineering Eagle and the Inventive Bratling

Guy Wetmore Carryl

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O’er a small suburban borough
Once an eagle used to fly,
Making observations thorough
From his station in the sky,
And presenting the appearance
Of an animated V,
Like the gulls that lend coherence
Unto paintings of the sea.

Looking downward at a church in
This attractive little shire,
He beheld a smallish urchin
Shooting arrows at the spire;
In a spirit of derision,
"Look alive!" the eagle said;
And, with infinite precision,
Dropped a feather on his head.

Then the boy, annoyed distinctly
By the freedom of the bird,
Voiced his anger quite succinctly
In a single scathing word;
And he sat him on a barrow,
And he fashioned of this same
Eagle’s feather such an arrow
As was worthy of the name.

Then he tried his bow, and, stringing
It with caution and with care,
Sent that arrow singing, winging
Towards the eagle in the air.
Straight it went, without an error,
And the target, bathed in blood,
Lurched, and lunged, and fell to terra
Firma, landing with a thud.

"Bird of freedom," quoth the urchin,
With an unrelenting frown,
"You shall decorate a perch in
The menagerie in town;
But of feathers quite a cluster
I shall first remove for Ma;
Thanks to you, she’ll have a duster
For her precious objets d’art."

And THE MORAL is that pride is
The precursor of a fall.
Those beneath you to deride is
Not expedient at all.
Howsoever meek and humble
Your inferiors may be,
They perchance may make you tumble,
So respect them. QED.

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