Which bird should be king?
"Then Ostrich, because he is the largest and roars like a lion," one called out.
"No, he can't fly. The king of the birds must be able to fly."
"You are too proud," said Owl. "I have the largest eyes of any bird. I should be king."
"No, not you, Owl," the other birds shouted. "You go to sleep when the sun rises!"
Then one bird had an idea. "The one who can fly the highest will be king," she said.
"Yes, yes," all the birds shouted, and they all flew up, up, into the sky.
But Vulture soared for three whole days without stopping, straight toward the sun. Far above them, the birds heard Vulture cry, "I am the highest, I am king!"
It was Ncede, the smallest bird of all. He had held onto the great wing feathers of Vulture as he soared into the sky.
He flew up and up until he could fly no more. "I am higher than any other bird. I am your king!" he cried.
Vulture was too exhausted to fly any further.
The other birds were furious with Ncede. They waited for him, ready to pluck out all his feathers.
The waiting birds told Owl, "With your big eyes, you must keep guard at the hole and catch him when he comes out."
So Owl sat in front of the hole.
Little Ncede peeped out of the snake hole. When he saw that Owl was asleep, he flew up and away.
Now he only hunts at night. In the day, he sleeps, away from the sight of the other birds.
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