The Farmer and The Cranes

Cranes invaded a Farmer’s field. He could drive them off with an empty sling for awhile but later had to use rocks. That’s when they learned and left.

If words are not enough, action must be taken.

Certain Cranes made a Farmer’s newly-sown fields their home. The Farmer, for a time, was able to drive them off with an empty sling. The Cranes, however, soon learned the sling was empty and would not hurt them and so stayed when the Farmer next approached. Seeing this, the Farmer used stones in the sling and killed some of the Cranes when they did not move. The remaining birds saw this and decided the prudent thing to do would be to leave; which they did.

Aesop For ChildrenAesop For Children

Some Cranes saw a farmer plowing a large field. When the work of plowing was done, they patiently watched him sow the seed. It was their feast, they thought.

So, as soon as the Farmer had finished planting and had gone home, down they flew to the field, and began to eat as fast as they could.

The Farmer, of course, knew the Cranes and their ways. He had had experience with such birds before. He soon returned to the field with a sling. But he did not bring any stones with him. He expected to scare the Cranes just by swinging the sling in the air, and shouting loudly at them.

At first the Cranes flew away in great terror. But they soon began to see that none of them ever got hurt. They did not even hear the noise of stones whizzing through the air, and as for words, they would kill nobody. At last they paid no attention whatever to the Farmer.

The Farmer saw that he would have to take other measures. He wanted to save at least some of his grain. So he loaded his sling with stones and killed several of the Cranes. This had the effect the Farmer wanted, for from that day the Cranes visited his field no more.


Bluff and threatening words are of little value with rascals.

Bluff is no proof that hard fists are lacking.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

Some cranes made their feeding grounds on some plowlands newly sown with wheat. For a long time the Farmer, brandishing an empty sling, chased them away by the terror he inspired; but when the birds found that the sling was only swung in the air, they ceased to take any notice of it and would not move. The Farmer, on seeing this, charged his sling with stones, and killed a great number. The remaining birds at once forsook his fields, crying to each other, “It is time for us to be off to Liliput: for this man is no longer content to scare us, but begins to show us in earnest what he can do.”


If words suffice not, blows must follow.

1001Grues et Agricola

Grues agricolae arva depopulabantur quibus nuper frumentum severat triticeum. Et ille, vacua longum quassata funda, fugabat aves perculsas metu. Quem cum intellexere funda ferientem auras, despexere deinceps ut iam non fugerent, donec non diutius egit quomodo sueverat, sed iactis lapidibus contudit plurimas. Grues autem, agro derelicto, aliae aliis “Fugiamus,” crocitabant, “in Pygmaeorum regionem. Homo iste non amplius nos territare velle videtur, sed incipit iam et facere aliquid.”

Perry #297