The Chicken's Mistake
A little downy chick one day
Asked leave go on the water,
Where she saw a duck with her brood at play,
Swimming and splashing about her.
Need, she began to peep and cry,
When her mother would not let her,
"If the ducks can swim there, why can't I?
Are they and bigger or better?"
Then the old hen answered, "Listen to me,
And hush your foolish talking,
Just look at your feet, and you will see
They were only made for walking."
But chicky wistfully eyed the brook,
And didn't half believe her,
For she seems to say, by a knowing look,
such stories could not deceive her.
And as her mother was scratching the ground,
She muttered lower and lower,
"I know I can go there and not be drowned,
And so I think I'll show her."
Then she made a plunge where the stream was deep,
And saw too late her blunder;
For she had hardly taken time to peep,
When her foolish head went under.
And now I hope her fate will show
The child my story reading,
That this who are older sometimes know
What you will do well in heeding;
That each content in his place should dwell,
And envy not his brother;
For any part that is acted well
Is just as good as another;
For we all have our proper spheres below,
And 't is a truth worth knowing:
You wil lome to grief if you try to go
Where you never were made for going.
Catholic National Reader
Benzinger Bros. 1889
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