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one of the feathered creation who soared highest should be esteemed king. The eagle mounted, and towered aloft high above the rest, but was outwitted by the wren, who, unobserved and unfelt, had hopped on to the eagle's back.

The birds were so distressed and angry at the trick that they resolved to drown the wren in their tears. Accordingly they procured a pan into which each bird in turn wept. When it was nearly full the blundering old owl came up. "With such big eyes," said the birds, "he will weep great tears." But he perched on the edge of the pan and upset it. Thenceforth the wren has reigned undisputed king of the birds.

There is a curious story told of a wren. In one of the Irish rebellions a party of British military were out after the enemy when, having made a long march, they lay down to sleep and left no one to keep sentinel. As they lay slumbering the murderous rascals stole up, creeping like snakes in the grass and among the bushes, and would have butchered the entire party had it not been for a wren, which, perching on the drum belonging to the company, tapped it repeatedly with its little beak. This roused the soldiers, they became aware of their situation, and were able just in time to fire on their assailants and disperse them.

In Ireland, and in Pembrokeshire and elsewhere in South Wales, it was usual, on S. Stephen's Day or at the New Year, to put a wren in a lantern that was decorated with ribbons and carry it about to farms and cottages, with a song, which was repaid