A Crow and A Mussel

One Crow advised another that to open a Mussel he would have to fly high and drop the Mussel. The first Crow did so and the other flew off with the food.

Most people are kind to their neighbors for their own sake.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

A Crow having found a Mussel on the sea-shore, took it in his beak, and tried for a long time to break the shell by hammering it upon a stone. Another Crow–a sly old fellow–came and watched him for some time in silence. “Friend,” said he at last, “you’ll never break it in that way. Listen to me. This is the way to do it: Fly up as high as you can, and let the tiresome thing fall upon a rock. It will be smashed then, sure enough, and you can eat it at your leisure.” The simple-minded and unsuspecting Crow did as he was told, flew up and let the Mussel fall. Before he could descend to eat it, however, the other bird had pounced upon it and carried it away.

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

There was one of your royston-crows, that lay battering upon a muscle, and could not for his blood break the shell to come at the fish. A carrion-crow, in this interim, comes up, and tells him, that what he could not do by force, he might do by stratagem. Take this muscle up into the air, says the crow, as high as you can carry it, and then let him fall upon that rock there; his own weight, you shall see, shall break him. The roystoner took his advice, and it succeeded accordingly; but while the one was upon wing, the other stood lurching upon the ground, and flew away with the fish.


Charity begins at home, they say; and most people are kind to their neighbours for their own sakes.