Eagle, Doo-Doo, and Rice Bird

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In other days Eagle, Doo-Doo and the Rice Bird were good friends, and they would build their nests close to each other. During Hungry Season Eagle called her two friends and said:

“Hungry time is with us again, and we three must work together if we are to find enough to eat, and raise our families as well. I suggest that we take turns in hunting food.”

The two small birds nodded their agreement, for Eagle was a wise bird and they respected her judgment. But the little black and yellow Rice Bird remarked sadly:

“Eagle, your idea is good; but I am a small-small bird. When my turn comes to hunt for food how will I bring enough? I can barely keep my own family alive. Would it not be better if you search for food and I guard your eggs as well as mine?”

The Doo-Doo, who was only a little larger than Rice Bird, also said:

“Eagle, those are my words too. I am only a small-small bird and would have no chance of finding food for three families. It would be better if I stayed with Rice Bird to guard your family while you hunt.”

Eagle agreed to let the two small birds take turns in guarding her nest of eggs, but she reminded them that a large snake lived nearby.

“As fast as I lay my eggs this snake sneaks up and eats them, “Eagle said. “I’ve just laid a new batch, and that old snake will try to get them too. But you keep watch, you two young birds, and I’ll teach you a little song to sing whenever you find my nest in danger. No matter where I am I shall always hear this song and come at once. The song is this:

“Danger to your nest Eagle,

Come home to your nest, Eagle,

Come at once and swiftly or you’ll lose your eggs.”

Thereafter Eagle would go searching for food all through the day, and Doo-Doo and Rice Bird took turns at guarding her nest. Rice Bird was quick and intelligent, and several times her shrill voice brought Eagle home in time to save her eggs from the hungry snake; But Doo-Doo was an ugly and lazy bird with a blunt, cracked voice. When her turn cam to guard Eagle’s eggs she would sleep until the snake was just about to take the eggs, and only then would she awake and sing the eagle-song.

Three times Rice Bird warned her, but Doo-Doo took no notice.

One day when Eagle was hunting, and it was Doo-Doo’s turn to watch the next, the snake crawled up and swallowed all the eggs while Doo-Doo was asleep. As the snake was gliding away Doo-Doo awoke. She found the eggs were missing and began to sing the eagle-song, but now it was too late.

Eagle planed in at great speed, and at a glance she saw her eggs had gone. For a little while she searched wildly under the tree and in the bushes, but in vain. She was so angry she forgot the friendship between herself and Doo-Doo — She swooped on her lazy friend and tore her to pieces.

From that day onward eagles have made war on doo-doos, but they still love and protect the little black and yellow rice birds.

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