One night, when in the sky hung a pale moon, a nightingale perched on the sumac tree and sang entrancingly into the night. The creatures of the bog were held in thrall by its exquisite melody. The frog listened, dumbstruck; and all stared at the tree in delight. At the end came clamorous applause. While the nightingale serenaded her song, ducks swum and herons waded close to her and a lonely loon sobbed.
Then came calls for more singing:
“Bravo!” “Too divine!” “Encore!”
Brand-new to such a standing ovation, the nightingale sang on, never pausing till dawn. Needless to say, the frog was appalled and threatened by the Nightingale’s sudden appearance. He was jealous too, of how the animals’ exalted in her sweet voice. But he had cunning and was a shrewd businessman.He decided that she would have to be destroyed.
The following night, the Nightingale spread her wing a little, and closed an eye with the twitch of her tail and a shake of her head. Gently, she cleared her throat to sing. No sooner did she begin than she was stopped in mid- song by the bullying frog. He tells her boastfully that he owns the sumac tree and has been performing for years. He informs her that he is a famous critic as well as a singer who can sing in a booming baritone.
The diffident bird is impressed by the self-important frog. She asks him timidly whether he liked her singing. To this the frog condescendingly replies that her voice is not all that bad, but it wants more force. In fact her technique is good but her song is a little too long.