Stories & Tales
The Beautiful Feathers

Text: Ayoub Mansour
Illustration: El-Labbad
Published by Dar al-Fata al-Arabi

One sunny morning, the a beautiful Peacock looked into a mirror and exclaimed, "A gorgeous bird like me should never have to work! Even my food should be brought to me by others."

At breakfast time he went to the Duck and told her proudly, "Prepare breakfast for the King of Birds!"

The astonished Duck replied: "I worked hard preparing breakfast for my seven children. If you are hungry, make your own breakfast."

The Peacock departed angrily. On the way he saw a small ant trying to carry a grain of wheat. He said to her: "Ant, can't you see the King of Birds? Don't you know it is breakfast time and that you should offer all you have to me?" The Ant , thinking rapidly, said: "The wheat of the ants is not fresh. Go and ask the Fox for your breakfast." 

The Peacock, hungry and tired, arrived at the Fox's house and demanded breakfast. The Fox looked at the spoiled Peacock and said: "I don't object to giving you wheat, but in return I want some of your beautiful feathers." The Peacock, starving by now, accepted the offer.

The Fox gave the Peacock a few grains of wheat but took all the feathers. Without his feathers, the Peacock shivered. He looked very funny. The Fox laughed and mockingly said: "If you are feeling cold, there is a warm place for you in my stomach!"

The Peacock was frightened and quickly disappeared.