THE VAIN JACKDAW
Jupiter announced that he intended to appoint a king over the birds,
and named a day on which they were to appear before his throne, when
he would select the most beautiful of them all to be their ruler.
Wishing to look their best on the occasion they repaired to the banks
of a stream, where they busied themselves in washing and preening
their feathers. The Jackdaw was there along with the rest, and
realised that, with his ugly plumage, he would have no chance of being
chosen as he was: so he waited till they were all gone, and then
picked up the most gaudy of the feathers they had dropped, and
fastened them about his own body, with the result that he looked gayer
than any of them. When the appointed day came, the birds assembled
before Jupiter's throne; and, after passing them in review, he was
about to make the Jackdaw king, when all the rest set upon the
king-elect, stripped him of his borrowed plumes, and exposed him for
the Jackdaw that he was.