The Bear and The Fowls

A Siberian Bear came to a farm where Fowls were drinking; throwing their heads back. They said it was religious. Bear laughed. Fowls chided non-belief.

Do not mock what you don’t know about.

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Bear and Fowls

Ernest Griset (1874)

A Bear, who was bred in the savage deserts of Siberia, had an inclination to see the world. He travelled from forest to forest, and from one kingdom to another, making many profound observations on his way. One day he made his way by accident into a farmer’s yard, where he saw a number of Fowls standing to drink by the side of a pool. Observing that after every sip they turned up their heads towards the sky, he could not forbear inquiring the reason of so peculiar a ceremony. They told him that it was by way of returning thanks to Heaven for the benefits they received; and was, indeed, an ancient and religious custom, which they could not, with a safe conscience, or without impiety, omit. Here the Bear burst into a fit of laughter, at once mimicking their gestures and ridiculing their superstition in the most contemptuous manner. On this the Cock, with a spirit suitable to the boldness of his character, addressed him in the following words: “As you are a stranger, sir, you may perhaps be excused the indecency of your behaviour; yet give me leave to tell you that none but a Bear would ridicule any religious ceremonies whatsoever in the presence of those who believe them of importance.”