The Crow and The Raven

The Crow was jealous of the Raven who’s cry was taken as an omen. Crow tried to mimic the Raven but travelers saw through the ploy and ignored the Crow.

Those who assume a character which does not belong to them, only make themselves ridiculous.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A crow was jealous of the Raven, because he was considered a bird of good omen and always attracted the attention of men, who noted by his flight the good or evil course of future events. Seeing some travelers approaching, the Crow flew up into a tree, and perching herself on one of the branches, cawed as loudly as she could. The travelers turned towards the sound and wondered what it foreboded, when one of them said to his companion, “Let us proceed on our journey, my friend, for it is only the caw of a crow, and her cry, you know, is no omen.”


Those who assume a character which does not belong to them, only make themselves ridiculous.

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

Your raven has a reputation in the world for a bird of omen, and a kind of small prophet. A crow that had observ’d the raven’s manner and way of delivering his predictions, sets up for a foreboder too; and so gets upon a tree, and there stands nodding and croaking, just over the head of some people that were passing by. They were a little surpriz’d at first; but so soon as they saw how ’twas: Come, my masters (says one of the company) let’s e’en go forward, for this is but the chattering of a foolish crow, and it signifies nothing.


How are superstitious men hagg’d out of their wits and senses, with the fancy of omens, forebodings, old wives tales and visions; and upon a final examination of the matter, nothing at all in the bottom on’t!.

1001Cornix et Viatores

Cornix, invidens corvo quod is per auguria hominibus vaticinaretur ideoque tamquam futuri praescius vulgo haberetur, nonnullos viatores praetereuntes conspicata, super arborem quamdam ascendit, in eaque residens, valde crocitavit. Tum, illis ad vocem conversis atque admiratione perculsis, quidam, re cognita, “Incoeptum,” inquit, “sequamur iter, amici. Est enim cornix quae crocitavit, atque ea quidem omni prorsus augurio caret.”

Perry #125