A tidy old widow resided in a charming cottage. She always looked put together with the crispest caps and most beautiful handkerchiefs. She enjoyed doing housework, such as cleaning, cooking, and sewing. Everyone in the village looked up to her as an example of dedication and hard work since she was the hardest working woman they had ever met.
This wonderful lady was raising two young daughters, both of whom she did her best to train to be as nice and tidy as herself. She instructed them to make various baked goods, rice, and other dishes.
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Moreover, she instructed them on the art of spinning delicate thread using traditional spinning wheels. As soon as she heard the huge brown cockerel in the yard crow in the morning, she would get out of bed and hurry to the room where the girls slept to shake them awake.
“Get up! Get up!” this is what she would say. “Has anyone else noticed that a cockerel is crowing in the yard? In a few minutes, the sun will rise over that hill. The cockerel’s crow means that everyone in the house must immediately arise.”
The little girls never wanted to get out of bed and were extremely tired. But the active elderly lady would watch them until they yawned and blinked their way out of bed. Then she’d get down to business around the home, ordering everyone to get up, get dressed, and meet her in the kitchen as soon as possible.
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She assigned her daughters to many chores. One of the works was feeding the chickens and the large brown cockerel. In fact, the more the cockerel ate, the happier the old lady was as she stood at the kitchen door to watch the feeding.
“Is he not a fine bird?” she’d asked her daughters. “He deserves this food. Unless he crows, there would be no one to get us out of bed in the mornings, guaranteeing that we would oversleep every day.”
The girls would exchange sultry glances beneath their lashes. The girls didn’t like the cockerel at all. They hated the brown bird chirping at dawn, waking people up when they could be sleeping till eight or nine.
The girls made a plan to kill it. One day the girls got a chance to take revenge on the cockerel. While their mother was out shopping, they waited. Next, they seized the brown cockerel and wrung his neck. Afterward, they laid him to rest in a field outside the fence. Then, terrified by their actions, they finished preparing the lunch.
Back at her house, the woman discovered that her pet bird had vanished. She looked high and low for the cockerel, and the daughters pretended to do the same so their mother wouldn’t suspect them.
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The woman lamented the loss of her cockerel. However, before turning in for the night, the girls expressed relief at finally killing the dreadful bird.
“Now,” they assured one another, “we can rest easy. I can’t even imagine how wonderful it will be to sleep as late as we choose without worrying about our mother being woken up by our roosters.”
They tucked their heads into the pillow and promptly dozed out. But what seemed to be the dead of night, the old lady arrived at their room, carrying a lit candle in her nightcap.
‘Get up! Get up!” she said with a flurry of activity around her. Due to the absence of a roosting crow, sleeping in is no longer acceptable. There is still no sign of daybreak. I know! But soon, it will shatter, and we won’t know until the roosters in the yard start crowing. Get up! Get up! Quickly, come with me into the kitchen!”
Wow, can you imagine how devastated those little girls felt? However, they had no choice but to follow their mother’s orders. So, drowsier than they’d ever been, they got up and stalled doing chores by candlelight, like washing clothes and spinning yarn.
Moreover, the elderly woman continued rousing the girls in the wee hours of the morning because she was too attached to the cockerel to want to replace him with a new one. She was adamant that they rise and shine before dawn so that no time would be lost.
Oh, how those two sleepy young ladies regretted killing the enormous brown cockerel.
So, the moral of the story is: As you sow, so you reap.