The Proud Oak Tree
An Old Fable
The oak said to the reed that grew
by the river,
"It is no wonder that you make such a sorrowful
moaning, for you are so weak that the little wren
is a burden for you, and the lightest breeze must
seem like a storm wind. Now look at me! No
storm has ever been able to bow my head. You
will be much safer if you grow close to my side so
that I may shelter you from the wind that is now
playing with my leaves."
"Do not worry about me," said
the reed, "I have less reason to fear the wind than
you have. I bow myself, but I never break. He who
laughs last, laughs best!"
That night there came a fearful hurricane. The
oak stood erect. The reed bowed itself before the
blast. The wind grew more furious, and, uprooting
the proud oak, flung it on the ground.
When the morning came there stood the slender
reed, glittering with dewdrops, and softly
swaying in the breeze.