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J. H. Stickney

The Spendthrift and the Swallow

A young man who had been a great spendthrift, and had run through all the money he had inherited, and even sold all his outer clothing except his cloak, saw a Swallow skimming over the meadows in the early springtime and twittering gaily. Believing that summer was really come, he sold his cloak also.

The next day there happened to be a severe frost, and shivering himself, he found the Swallow lying frozen and stiff upon the ground.

"Unhappy bird," he said, "had you not come before your time, I should not now be so wretched, and you might have escaped your fate. A single swallow does not make a summer."