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The Flying Contest


One dayas the birds of a certain place were talkingan argument arose as to who could fly the highest. The smaller birds became quietfor no one else listened to them anyway. It was the larger birds who boasted and argued. It was decided to hold a flying contestafter a few weeks of training for all the birds who wished to participate.

The smaller birds did not think they had a chanceand did not bother to strengthen their wings. This was except for the wrenwho was aware of how small and weak she was. She tried to think of how she could win through trickeryand finally hatched a plan.

On the day of the contestalmost all the birds were saying that the eagle would win. The eagle was a swiftstrong bird who spent each day flying higher than most birds did. The wren heard what the others were sayingand decided to stay as close to the eagle as she could. The birds swooped into the air and toward the clouds. It was not long before some of them began to fall behind. The wren managed to keep near the eagle.

Soon the birds soared into a cloud. The wren was so small and light that the eagle never noticed when she softly landed on the eagle's back. As the two passed upwards through the cloudthe other birds saw what had happened and cheered for the wren. The eagle thought that they were cheering for himand beat his wings more strongly to show off. As he rose higher and higherhe called to the others he was leaving behind"Who is flying the highest?"

"I am" said a tiny voice from above and behind him.

The eagle was astonished. He flew higher and asked again"Who is flying the highest?"

"I am" the wren answered again.

The eagle angrily flew higher and highercalling out the same question and getting the same answer. At last he was too exhausted to fly any more. He began to glide downward to rest. Then the wren let go and flew even higher. The eagle had to admit that the wren had won.