AN OWL, in her wisdom, counseled the Birds that when the acorn
first began to sprout, to pull it all up out of the ground and
not allow it to grow. She said acorns would produce mistletoe,
from which an irremediable poison, the bird-
lime, would be extracted and by which they would be captured.
The Owl next advised them to pluck up the seed of the flax, which
men had sown, as it was a plant which boded no good to them.
And, lastly, the Owl, seeing an archer approach, predicted that
this man, being on foot, would contrive darts armed with feathers
which would fly faster than the wings of the Birds themselves.
The Birds gave no credence to these warning words, but considered
the Owl to be beside herself and said that she was mad. But
afterwards, finding her words were true, they wondered at her
knowledge and deemed her to be the wisest of birds. Hence it is
that when she appears they look to her as knowing all things,
while she no longer gives them advice, but in solitude laments
their past folly.