An old blackbird found a piece of bread and flew off with it. When they saw this, the younger birds pursued him in order to attack.
Confronted by imminent battle, the blackbird dropped the piece of bread into the mouth of a snake, thinking to himself:
‘When you’re old, you see things differently. I lost a meal, it’s true, but I can always find another piece of bread tomorrow.
“However, if I had hung on to it, I would have started a war in the skies; the winner would become the object of envy, the others would gang up on him, hatred would fill the hearts of birds and it could all go on for years.
“That is the wisdom of old age: knowing how to exchange immediate victories for lasting conquests.’