The Lark and her Young Ones

006. THE LARK AND HER YOUNG ONES. A lark, who had young ones in a field of corn which was almost ripe, was under some fear lest the reapers should come to reap it before her young brood were fledged, and able to remove from the place; wherefore, upon flying abroad to look for food, she left this charge with them, that they should take notice what they heard talked of in her absence, and tell her of it when she came back again.
When she was gone, they heard the owner of the corn call to his son: “Well,” says he, “I think this corn is ripe enough: I would have you go early to-morrow, and desire our friends and neighbours to come and help us to reap it.” When the old lark came home, the young ones fell a quivering and chirping round her, and told her what had happened, begging her to remove them as fast as she could. The mother bid them be easy, “for,” says she, “if the owner depends upon friends and neighbours, I am pretty sure the corn will not be reaped to-morrow.”
Next day she went out again upon the same occasion, and left the same orders with them as before. The owner came and stayed, expecting those he had sent to; but the sun grew hot, and nothing was done, for not a soul came to help him. “Then,” says he to his son, “I perceive these friends of ours are not to be depended upon, so that you must even go to your uncles and cousins, and tell them I desire they would be here betimes to-morrow morning, to help us to reap.”
Well, this the young ones, in a great fright reported also to their mother. “If that be all,” says she, “do not be frightened, children; for kindred and relations do not use to be so very forward to serve one another; but take particular notice what you hear the next time, and be sure to let me know it.”
She went abroad the next day, as usual; and the owner, finding his relations as slack as the rest of his neighbours, said to his son. “Harkye, George, do you get a couple of good sickles ready against to-morrow morning, and we will even reap the corn ourselves.”
When the young ones told their mother this, “Then,” says she, “we must be gone indeed; for when a man undertakes to do his business himself, it is not so likely he will be disappointed.” So she removed her young ones immediately, and the corn was reaped the next day by the good man and his son. [more info]

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