The Eagle, Cat, and Wild Sow

While living in the same tree, a cat decided to fool the eagle above and sow below. The cat told each the other would attack. Paralyzed with fear they died.

Don’t let fear paralyze you.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

An eagle made her nest at the top of a lofty oak; a Cat, having found a convenient hole, moved into the middle of the trunk; and a Wild Sow, with her young, took shelter in a hollow at its foot. The Cat cunningly resolved to destroy this chance-made colony. To carry out her design, she climbed to the nest of the Eagle, and said, “Destruction is preparing for you, and for me too, unfortunately. The Wild Sow, whom you see daily digging up the earth, wishes to uproot the oak, so she may on its fall seize our families as food for her young.” Having thus frightened the Eagle out of her senses, she crept down to the cave of the Sow, and said, “Your children are in great danger; for as soon as you go out with your litter to find food, the Eagle is prepared to pounce upon one of your little pigs.” Having instilled these fears into the Sow, she went and pretended to hide herself in the hollow of the tree. When night came she went forth with silent foot and obtained food for herself and her kittens, but feigning to be afraid, she kept a lookout all through the day. Meanwhile, the Eagle, full of fear of the Sow, sat still on the branches, and the Sow, terrified by the Eagle, did not dare to go out from her cave. And thus they both, along with their families, perished from hunger, and afforded ample provision for the Cat and her kittens.

Samuel CroxallSamuel Croxall

Croxall - Eagle, Cat and SowAN Eagle had built her nest upon the top branches of an old Oak. A wild Cat inhabited a hole in the middle; and in the hollow part at the bottom was a Sow, with a whole litter of Pigs. A happy neighbourhood; and might long have continued so, had it not been for the wicked insinuations of the designing Cat. For, first of all, up she crept to the Eagle; and, Good neighbour, says she, we shall be all undone: that filthy Sow yonder does nothing but lie routing at the foot of the tree, and, as I suspect, intends to grub it up, that she may the more easily come at our young ones. For my part, I will take care of my own concerns; you may do as you please, but I will watch her motions, though I stay at home this month for it. When she had said this, which could not fail of putting the Eagle into a great fright, down she went, and made a visit to the Sow at the bottom: and, putting on a sorrowful face, I hope, says she, you do not intend to go abroad to-day? Why not? says the Sow. Nay, replies the other, you may do as you please; but I overheard the Eagle tell her young ones, that she would treat them with a Pig, the first time she saw you go out; and I am not sure but she may take up with a Kitten in the mean time; so, good-morrow to you; you will excuse me, I must go and take care of the little folks at home. Away she went accordingly; and by contriving to steal out softly a-nights for her prey, and to stand watching and peeping all day at her hole, as under great concern, she made such an impression upon the Eagle and the Sow, that neither of them dared venture abroad for fear of the other. The consequence of which was, that themselves, and their young ones, in a little time, were all starved, and made prizes of, by the treacherous Cat and her Kittens.

THE APPLICATION

This shows us the ill consequence which may attend the giving ear to a gossiping double-tongued neighbour. The mischiefs occasioned by such a credulity are innumerable, and loo notorious not to be observed every where. Many sociable, well-disposed families, have been blown up into a perpetual discord and aversion to each other, by one of these wicked go-betweens. So that, whoever would thoroughly acquit himself of the imputation of being a bad neighbour, should guard himself both against ill impressions by hearsay, and uttering his opinion of others to those inquisitive busy- bodies, who, in case of scandal, can magnify a gnat to the size of a camel, and swell a mole-hill up to a mountain.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

Eagle Cat and SowAn Eagle had built her nest in the top branches of an old oak tree; a wild Cat dwelt in a hole about the middle; and in the hollow part at the bottom lived a Sow with a whole litter of pigs. They might have remained there long in contentment, but the Cat, bent upon mischief, crept up one day to the Eagle, and said, “Neighbour, have you noticed what the old Sow who lives below is doing? I believe she is determined upon nothing less than to root up this tree, our abode, and when it falls she will devour our young ones.” This put the Eagle in a great fright, and she did not dare to stir from home lest the tree might fall in her absence. Descending to visit the Sow, the wily Cat said, “Listen to me, my friend. Last night I overheard that old bi rd who lives over our heads promise her young ones that the very next time you went out they should have one of your dear little porkers for supper. The Sow, greatly alarmed in her turn , durst not quit her hollow. The mutual fear of the Eagle and the Sow became so great that they and their young ones were actually starved to death, and fell a prey to the designing old Cat and her kittens.