“The Willow-Wren and the Bear”
So a bear and wolf were walking in the forest one day when the bear heard a bird sing. He asked the wolf what kind of bird it was and the wolf said it was the King of the birds, when it was really a willow-wren. The bear then wanted to see the royal palace. So the wolf took him to the nest.
The bear looked in the nest at the little birds and thought it was a wretched palace and that they were disreputable children. The little birds said the bear would pay for that.
When their parents returned, they told them what the bear had said and that they wouldn’t eat until the bear had been dealt with. So the king flew to the bear’s den and declared war. And not just between the willow-wrens and the bears, but between everything that flew – birds, bees, flies, etc. – and all four footed animals – bears, foxes, cows, etc.
The willow-wren sent out spies to see who the animal’s leader was. A gnat hid under a leaf and found out they had gone to the fox who was the most cunning. The fox told them that as long as his tail was in the air, they should charge, but if he dropped his tail they should flee.
When the battle began, the willow-wren sent the hornet after the fox who stung him below his tail until the fox dropped his tail. At the sign, the four legged animals ran away.
But the young willow-wrens weren’t satisfied until the bear came to the nest and begged forgiveness.
Why did the bear think the baby birds disreputable? All he did was look at them and come to that conclusion.
So a bear insults some baby birds and that leads to war between everything that flies and all four legged animals? That escalated quickly.
For an animal of such cunning, the fox’s plan was rather simple: charge or run away. Are there no other contingencies?
So the young willow-wrens are basically spoiled brats? They felt insulted so they had their daddy start a war? The bear should have just smashed their nest with his paw and saved the forest the trouble of dealing with them when they were older.