Many, many years ago when the world was new, there was a beautiful river. Fish
in great numbers lived in this river, and its water was so pure and sweet that all the
animals came there to drink.
A giant moose heard about the river and he too came there to drink. But he was so
big, and he drank so much, that soon the water began to sink lower and lower.
The beavers were worried. The water around their lodges was disappearing. Soon
their homes would be destroyed.
The muskrats were worried, too. What would they do if the water vanished? How
could they live?
The fish were very worried. The other animals could live on land if the water dried
up, but they couldn't.
All the animals tried to think of a way to drive the moose from the river, but he
was so big that they were too afraid to try. Even the bear was afraid of him.
At last the fly said he would try to drive the moose away. All the animals laughed
and jeered. How could a tiny fly frighten a giant moose? The fly said nothing, but
that day, as soon as the moose appeared, he went into action.
He landed on the moose's foreleg and bit sharply. The moose stamped his foot
harder, and each time he stamped, the ground sank and the water rushed in to fill it
up. Then the fly jumped about all over the moose, biting and biting and biting until
the moose was in a frenzy. He dashed madly about the banks of the river, shaking
his head, stamping his feet, snorting and blowing, but he couldn't get rid of that
pesky fly. At last the moose fled from the river, and didn't come back.
The fly was very proud of his achievement, and boasted to the other animals,
"Even the small can fight the strong if they use their brains to think."