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CROAK

 

ALL the birds of the forest were sitting upon the branches of the trees which had quite enough leavesand yet the birds were unanimous in their desire for moreleavesthe"leaves"of a journal a newgood journalwas what they longed fora critical newspaper such as humans have so many of so many that half of them wouldbe sufficient

The songbirds wanted a music critic each for his own praiseand for criticismwhere it was needed of the others But they the birds themselves could notagree on an impartial critic

"It must be a birdthough" said the Owl who hadbeen elected president by the assembly for he is the birdof wisdom"We ought not elect anyone from another branch of animals except perhaps from the sea Therefish fly like birds in the sky but that of courseis ouronly relationshipHowever there are quite enough animals to select from between fish and birds"

The Stork took the floor and rattled from his beak"There are indeed beings between fish and birds Thechildren of the marsh the FrogsI an voting for themThey are extremely musical and their choir singing is like church bells in a lonely wood I get an urge to travel" said the Stork"a tickling under my wingswhenthey begin to sing"

"I am also voting for the Frogs"said the Heron"They are neither bird nor fish but still they live with thefishes and sing like the birds"

"Now that's the musical part"said the Owl"Butthe paper must speak of all the beauties of the forestWemust have coworkersLet each of us consider everything in his family"

Then the little Lark sang out cheerfully and prettily"The Frog should not be the editor of the papernoitshould be the Nightingale"

"Stop your chirping"said the Owl"I am hooting fororderI know the Nightingale We are both night birdsNeither he nor I ought to be electedbecause the paperwould become an aristocratic or philosophic newspaper abeau monde paperrun by high society It must also be anorgan for the common man"

They agreed that the paper should be called MorningCroak or Evening Croakor just Croak They unanimously voted for the latter

It would fill a longfelt need in the forest The Bee the Ant and the Gopher promised to write about industri al and engineering activitiesin which they had great insight

The Cuckoo was nature's poet

Not counted among the song birdshe washoweverof the greatest importance to the com mon man "He always praises himself he is the vainest of all birds and yet not much to look at"said the Peacock

Then the Flesh Flies paid a visit to the editor in the forest"We offer our services We know people editors and human criticismWe lay our larva in the fresh fleshand then it decayswithin twentyfour hours We can destroy a great talentif necessary in the editor's serviceIf a paper is thespokesman for a party it dares to be rude and if oneloses a subscriber one will get sixteen in return Becruel give nicknames put them in a pillory whistlethrough your fingers like a gang of young radicals andyou become a power in the state"

"Such an air rover"said the Frog about theStork"I actually looked up to him when I was little andfelt a trembling admiration And when he walked in themarsh and spoke of Egyptmy imagination carried me towonderful foreign lands Now he doesn't impress me anymorethat is all just an echo in my memory"

"I have become wiserrational importantI writecritical articles in CroakI am what in the most correctand proper writing and speech of our language is called aCroaker"

"In the human world there is also that sort I havewritten a piece about it on the back page of our paper"

 


 

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