The Cunning Heron and the Crayfish

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This story is rather old but the lesson not to trust promises that seem too sweet is still valid.
When the old heron can no longer hunt on its own, it comes up with a plan to get food with no effort. Many naïve pond residents pay for it with their lives. Only the careful crayfish uncovers the heron’s true intentions and saves its own life.

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The Cunning Heron and the Crayfish
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Once, there was a great lake where an old blue heron had lived for many years. The lake was filled with many fish and other animals, and there was always food for him, so he never needed to worry about going hungry, even for a day.

If he wanted a fast snack, all he had to do was swoop down to the water and catch a little fish or a frog or a mollusk. He lived happily for a long time, but as time passed he began to get older, and soon he found he was too old to dive into the lake for a snack.

He was very hungry all of the time now, and because he wasn’t eating enough, he started to get skinny and weak. He could hardly remember the last time he’d eaten even a tiny little fish! And so one day he decided he must come up with a plan to get food without having to catch it himself.

He was starving, so he thought long and hard, and came up with a great plan.

First, he found a perfect spot on the lake shore where he would be visible from all sides. Then he sat down and began to moan as loudly and sorrowfully as he could. He wailed with all his strength until he’d been heard by everyone who lived at or in the lake. He made sure he looked pitiful.

Soon enough, a tiny crayfish came to see what all the noise was about. When he poked his head out of the water, he saw the heron sitting there, upset and moaning, and he felt very sorry for him. He moved closer and asked,

“Excuse me, sir. What happened? Why are you crying so loudly?”

The heron was prepared…

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