It was a cold November day and the air was hazy. The sun was a dull orange, allowing anyone to stare at it without having to blink.
On a leafless tree, a raven was working hard to crack open a nut. It wasn’t an ordinary nut though.
Green on the outside with a red outline, the nut did not belong to the tree. The raven, which lived on the tree, had picked it from a far-away forest and had brought it home to see if it tasted as good as it looked. But it was a hard nut to crack.
The raven held it in his beak and smashed it against the tree trunk, but without any luck.
The tree was home to two more ravens, who were friends and easy-going. Seeing the raven work so hard on the nut, they both laughed at him.
“You are a fool that you are working so hard on this nut,” they told the raven.
“We have so many nuts underneath this tree. We will just eat them and have fun.”
And, they had fun all the time. They rested on the tree and did nothing, but they did not give up criticising the raven with the nut.
Many hours passed, but the raven did not give up. He kept trying to break open the nut.
Tired after having to do nothing, the two idle ravens decided to take a nap. As they were asleep, a hungry vulture suddenly landed on the tree. Seeing the three ravens, his mouth watered.
He grabbed the two sleeping ravens in his long claws and was about to attack the third one.
“Please do not eat me. I have something more delicious for you,” said the raven with the nut.
“What can be more delicious than you and your friends?” the vulture asked.
The raven handed the vulture his nut, which he had already cracked open.
“I bet this is the most delicious thing in the world. If I am proven wrong, you can eat the three of us. But if I am proven right, you will have to let us go,” said the raven.
The vulture agreed. He took the nut and tasted it.
It was indeed the most delicious thing. Having lost his appetite for the birds, he let them go and flew away.
“Had I not worked so hard on the nut, we would have been dead today,” the raven told the other two.