Blacky the Crow by Thornton W. Burgess
Chapter VII: Blacky Tries Another Plan
When one plan fails, just try another; Declare you'll win some way or other.
People who succeed are those who do not give up because they fail the first time they try. They are the ones who, as soon as one plan fails, get busy right away and think of another plan and try that. If the thing they are trying to do is a good thing, sooner or later they succeed. If they are trying to do a wrong thing, very likely all their plans fail, as they should.
Now Blacky the Crow knows all about the value of trying and trying. He isn't easily discouraged. Sometimes it is a pity that he isn't, because he plans so much mischief. But the fact remains that he isn't, and he tries and tries until he cannot think of another plan and just has to give up. When he invited all his relatives to join him in tormenting Hooty the Owl, he thought he had a plan that just couldn't fail. He felt sure that Mrs. Hooty would leave her nest and help Hooty try to drive away his tormentors. But Mrs. Hooty didn't do anything of the kind, because Hooty was smart enough and thoughtful enough to lead his tormentors away from the nest into the darkest part of the Green Forest where their noise wouldn't bother Mrs. Hooty. So she just settled herself more comfortably than ever on those eggs which Blacky had hoped she would give him a chance to steal, and his fine plan was quite upset.
Not one of his relatives had noticed that nest. They had been too busy teasing Hooty. This was just as Blacky had hoped. He didn't want them to know about that nest because he was selfish and wanted to get those eggs just for himself alone. But now he knew that the only way he could get Mrs. Hooty off of them would be by teasing her so that she would lose her temper and try to catch some of her tormentors. If she did that, there would be a chance that he might slip in and get at least one of those eggs.
He would try it.
For a few minutes he listened to the noise of his relatives growing fainter and fainter, as Hooty led them farther and farther into the Green Forest. Then he opened his mouth.
"Caw, caw, caw, caw!" he screamed. "Caw, caw, caw, caw! Come back, everybody! Here is Mrs. Hooty on her nest! Caw, caw, caw, caw!"
Now as soon as they heard that, all Blacky's relatives stopped chasing and tormenting Hooty and started back as fast as they could fly. They didn't like the dark part of the Green Forest into which Hooty was leading them. Besides, they wanted to see that nest. So back they came, cawing at the top of their lungs, for they were very much excited. Some of them never had seen a nest of Hooty's. And anyway, it would be just as much fun to tease Mrs. Hooty as it was to tease Hooty.
"Where is the nest?" they screamed, as they came back to where Blacky was cawing and pretending to be very much excited.
"Why, " exclaimed one, "that is the old nest of Redtail the Hawk. I know all about that nest. " And he looked at Blacky as if he thought Blacky was playing a joke on them.
"It was Redtail's, but it is Hooty's now. If you don't believe me, just look in it, " retorted Blacky.
At once they all began to fly over the top of the tree where they could look down into the nest and there, sure enough, was Mrs. Hooty, her great, round, yellow eyes glaring up at them angrily. Such a racket! Right away Hooty was forgotten, and the whole crowd at once began to torment Mrs. Hooty. Only Blacky sat watchful and silent, waiting for Mrs. Hooty to lose her temper and try to catch one of her tormentors. He had hope, a great hope, that he would get one of those eggs.