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THE water-bird always stands on one leg, and this is why:
A water-bird once, in search of food, swallowed the King of the crabs, and the whole tribe of crabs were so enraged that they swore they would have their revenge.
“We will find this horrible bird,” they declared, “and nip off its legs. We shall not fail to find it, for its legs are bright p. 21 pink in colour and its feathers are pink and white.”
But the water-rat overheard the crabs plotting, and hastened to tell the water-bird.
“Oh! Oh!” cried the water-bird. “They will nip off my beautiful pink legs, and then what will become of me? Whatever can I do?”
“It is very simple,” replied the water-rat. “If you stand on one leg, they will think you are some other creature.”
The bird thanked him and tucked up one leg. When the crabs came, they saw, as they thought, a very tall pink bird with one leg and a large beak.
“Our enemy has two legs,” they said. “This cannot be he.” And they passed by.