The Crow and the Pitcher

the crow and the pitcher

Photo Courtesy: ‘Aesop’s Childhood Adventures’ by Vincent Mastro

Once upon a time (between 620 and 560 BC) Aesop, a slave lived in ancient Greece. He was also a storyteller and as we all know, his stories are world-famous till today. ‘The Crow and the Pitcher’ is one of those favourite stories and suggests Aesop to be an intense naturalist as well. In the story, a thirsty crow was searching for water over a dry land. At last he found a pitcher. But there was only a little water in it, at the bottom and out of his reach. Then he applied his presence of wit and raised the level of water by dropping pebbles into the pitcher. Thus he satisfied his thirst and saved his life. Psychologists and ornithologists of AD 2014 are now using this story (The Aesop’s fable paradigm) literally to estimate the cognitive ability of rooks and crows of the Corvidae family in using tools for utility purpose in order to understand the evolution of animal cognition as well. Crows are clever we all know. The study concludes that their cognition level is comparable to that of 5-7 year old children. Not bad! Good luck for crows! and as I told you just see a mere tale can stretch how long!

You can read the papers on rooks and crows, read the feature or check the funny video.

3 thoughts on “The Crow and the Pitcher

  1. Hi Lekha,
    Thanx for referencing my book. I could not agree more with you premise:
    “She finds the way of tales not only creative, but inspiring and multifaceted. Just like music, it breaks every barrier and serves as an efficient courier for however complex a message might seem.” My personal frustration was that most fable adaptations are not readily understandable by children. That is why I am writing my series.

    Here are 2 blogs I wrote for edutopia that may interest you:

    I have also written teachers guides that describe the lessons that can be taught from them including volume, measurement and comparison based on The Crow and the Pitcher.

    Finally, is there are particular Aesop’s Fable you like? If I have not written it yet, I’ll do it next.


    • Hi Vinnie,

      First of all, I am really honored to have comments from Vincent Mastro himself on my blog. Thanks a lot. I loved reading your blogposts on edutopia. I agree with you that Aesop’s fables have a real potential to inculcate the process of critical thinking among children. Instead of just delivering the message these fables offer, we have a lot of space for exploring with our young readers and of course with ourselves on the solid groundwork done by Aesop. In my childhood when I read these fascinating fables of course the lesson listed at the end wasn’t the sole experience I collected from them or was satisfied with. There were some unanswered questions and disbelief. As you have wrote ‘instead, the author expects the child to make that leap of understanding’. And that is hardly possible for a very young reader. Often many adult readers even can’t manage to gather this wisdom in its true sense. And if you ask me, I find these stories really intriguing instead of as simple a fable is defined as.
      If you ask me (I am honored again!), I would love to rediscover the meaning of the fable named ‘The fox and the grapes’ or ‘The bird in borrowed feathers’ with Vincent Mastro. And I will share the fable this time with my little niece always ready for story time at present!

      Thanks again for stopping by my blog and leaving your thoughts..


  2. Pingback: What you eat… | FAIRY TALES THESE DAYS

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