THE FORTUNE SEEKERS.,
known bird. Sometimes he saw r.t a distance one even sitting on the top of a tower and turning round with the wind.
In the villages it was the same. He heard the cocks crowing, and no one thought his bird at all wonderful. There seemed, therefore, no prospect of a fortune being made through the cock.
At last, after much consideration, he determined to visit an island where the bird was unknown, and they had no division of time. They knew when it was morning and evening; but at night if they did not sleep, they had no way of finding out the hour.
" See !" said he, " what a proud creature this is ! It has a ruby-red crown on its head, and wears spurs like a knight; it also calls out three times in the night to tell the hour, and the third time is just before sunrise. If it should call out during the day-time, we may be sure of a change in the weather."
The people of the island were so pleased that none of them slept all night, and as they lay awake, they heard the cock call out the time quite loudly and clearly at two, four, and six o'clock. Next morning they asked the owner if the creature was to be sold, and how much he wanted for it.
"About as much gold as an ass could carry." he replied.
"A very low price for such a valuable creature," they said, as they collected the money, and gave him willingly what he asked.
When he returned home with all this wealth, his brothers wondered, and the second said : " I think I may as well go and try if I can make as good a bargain for my scythe."
At first, however, on starting, he did not meet with much encouragement. The farmers and labourers whom he met had on their shoulders scythes as good as his own.
At last, he succeeded in reaching an island where the people had never heard of a scythe. When they wanted to reap their corn, they brought out cannons and shot it down. It certainly was a very singular proceeding, for many ears of corn fell outside, and others were struck off and shot away, so that few fell on the ground to be gathered up; and, above all, the cannons made a dreadful noise.
On seeing all this, the young man placed himself in a corn field, and cut it down so quietly and wiftly with his scythe that the people were struck dumb with worker, and were willing to give :nm