One morning in the early spring a raven was sitting on one of the branches of an old oak. He felt very ugly and cross, and could only say, “Croak! Croak!”
Soon a little robin, who was looking for a place to build her nest, came, with a merry song, into the same tree. “Good morning to you,” she said to the raven.
But the raven made no answer; he only looked at the clouds and croaked something about the cold wind. “I said good morning to you,” said the robin, hopping from branch to branch.
“You seem very merry this morning about nothing,” croaked the raven.
“Why should I not be merry?” asked the robin. “Spring has come, and everybody should be glad and happy.”
“I am not happy,” said the raven. “Don’t you see those black clouds above us? It is going to snow.”
“Very well,” answered the robin, “I shall keep on singing till it comes, at any rate. A merry song will not make it any colder.”
“You are very silly,” croaked the raven.
The robin flew to another tree and kept on singing; but the raven sat still and made himself very unhappy.
“The wind is so cold,” he said. “It always blows the wrong way for me.”
Very soon the sun came out warm and bright, and the clouds went away. But the raven was as sad as ever.
The grass began to spring up in the meadows. Green leaves and flowers were seen in the woods. Birds and bees flew here and there in the glad sunshine. The raven sat alone on the branch of the old oak.
“It is always too warm or too cold,” said he. “To be sure it is quite pleasant just now; but I know that the sun will soon shine hot enough to burn one up. Then to-morrow it will be colder than ever before. I do not see how any one can be so silly as to sing at such a time as this.”
Just then the robin came back to the tree, carrying a straw in her mouth.
“Well, my friend,” asked she, “where is your snow?”
“Don’t say anything,” croaked the raven. “It will snow all the harder for this sunshine.”
“And snow or shine,” said the robin, “you will keep on croaking. For my part, I shall look on the bright side of everything, and have a song for every day in the year.”
Which was the wiser, the raven or the robin?