The Peacock and The Crane

A Peacock was strutting before a Crane saying how beautiful he was. The Crane pointed out that it could fly with his feathers instead of just strut around.

Fine feathers don’t make fine birds.

Aesop For ChildrenAesop For Children

Peacock and Crane

Milo Winter (1919)

A Peacock, puffed up with vanity, met a Crane one day, and to impress him spread his gorgeous tail in the Sun.

“Look,” he said. “What have you to compare with this? I am dressed in all the glory of the rainbow, while your feathers are gray as dust!”

The Crane spread his broad wings and flew up toward the sun.

“Follow me if you can,” he said. But the Peacock stood where he was among the birds of the barnyard, while the Crane soared in freedom far up into the blue sky.


The useful is of much more importance and value, than the ornamental.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A peacock spreading its gorgeous tail mocked a Crane that passed by, ridiculing the ashen hue of its plumage and saying, “I am robed, like a king, in gold and purple and all the colors of the rainbow; while you have not a bit of color on your wings.” “True,” replied the Crane; “but I soar to the heights of heaven and lift up my voice to the stars, while you walk below, like a cock, among the birds of the dunghill.”


Fine feathers don’t make fine birds.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

Peacock and Crane

Ernest Griset (1874)

The Peacock, spreading his gorgeous tail, stalked up and down in his most stately manner before a Crane, and ridiculed him for the plainness of his plumage. “Tut, tut!” said the Crane; “which is the better now, to strut about in the dirt, and be gazed at by children, or to soar above the clouds, as I do?”

1001Pavo et Grus

Pavo, coram grue pennas suas explicans, “Quanta est,” inquit, “formositas mea et tua deformitas!” At grus, evolans, “Et quanta est,” inquit, “levitas mea et tua tarditas!”

Perry #294