The Tortoise and the Geese and Other Fables of Bidpai  by Maude Barrows Dutton

The Apes, the Glow-Worm, and the Popinjay

A troop of Apes once lived on a mountain, where they fed upon fruits and herbs. When the winter came on, the cold drove them down into the valleys. As they were wandering about here, looking for food and shelter, one of them came upon a Glow-Worm in the bushes. "Come quickly," he called to his brother Apes, "and bring a large pile of driftwood. I have found a spark of fire, and we shall soon be warm now!"

From all directions the Apes came, running and scrambling along the ground, their arms full of driftwood. A few moments later, the huge pile was heaped on top of the Glow-Worm, and the Apes sat around in a circle waiting for the wood to catch fire.

As they were waiting, a Popinjay in a tree called out,—

"You silly Apes, you may sit there with your teeth chattering until Doomsday, but that pile will never catch fire. That was not a spark that you found, but only a worm with a shining light in his tail!"

"Foolish bird," retorted the Apes, "do you think that we do not know a worm from a spark of fire?"

"It is not a spark," repeated the Popinjay. "It is not a spark. It is not a spark." And she flew down into their midst, still crying, "It is not a spark."

Whereupon the foolish Apes in anger sprang upon the Popinjay and tore her to pieces, feather by feather and bone by bone, until there was nothing left of her.