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The Eagle and the Beetle

The Eagle and the Beetle

A Beetle once begged the Eagle to spare a Hare which had run to her for protection. But the Eagle pounced upon her prey, the sweep of her great wings tumbling the Beetle a dozen feet away. Furious at the disrespect shown her, the Beetle flew to the Eagle's nest and rolled out the eggs. Not one did she spare. The Eagle's grief and anger knew no bounds, but who had done the cruel deed she did not know.

Next year the Eagle built her nest far up on a mountain crag; but the Beetle found it and again destroyed the eggs. In despair the Eagle now implored great Jupiter to let her place her eggs in his lap. There none would dare harm them. But the Beetle buzzed about Jupiter's head, and made him rise to drive her away; and the eggs rolled from his lap.

Now the Beetle told the reason for her action, and Jupiter had to acknowledge the justice of her cause. And they say that ever after, while the Eagle's eggs lie in the nest in spring, the Beetle still sleeps in the ground. For so Jupiter commanded.

Even the weakest may find means to avenge a wrong.


The Eagle and the Beetle

The Eagle and the Beetle were at enmity together, and they destroyed one another's nests. The Eagle gave the first provocation in seizing upon and in eating the young ones of the Beetle. The Beetle got by stealth at the Eagle's eggs, and rolled them out of the nest, and followed the Eagle even into the presence of Jupiter. On the Eagle making his complaint, Jupiter ordered him to make his nest in his lap; and while Jupiter had the eggs in his lap, the Beetle came flying about him, and Jupiter, rising up unawares to drive him away from his head, threw down the eggs, and broke them.

The weak often revenge themselves on those who use them ill, even though they be the more powerful.

The Eagle and the Beetle

An Eagle was chasing a hare, which was running for dear life and was at her wits' end to know where to turn for help. Presently she espied a Beetle, and begged it to aid her. So when the Eagle came up the Beetle warned her not to touch the hare, which was under its protection. But the Eagle never noticed the Beetle because it was so small, seized the hare and ate her up. The Beetle never forgot this, and used to keep an eye on the Eagle's nest, and whenever the Eagle laid an egg it climbed up and rolled it out of the nest and broke it. At last the Eagle got so worried over the loss of her eggs that she went up to Jupiter, who is the special protector of Eagles, and begged him to give her a safe place to nest in: so he let her lay her eggs in his lap. But the Beetle noticed this and made a ball of dirt the size of an Eagle's egg, and flew up and deposited it in Jupiter's lap. When Jupiter saw the dirt, he stood up to shake it out of his robe, and, forgetting about the eggs, he shook them out too, and they were broken just as before. Ever since then, they say, Eagles never lay their eggs at the season when Beetles are about.

The weak will sometimes find ways to avenge an insult, even upon the strong.