The Bear was on his way to town. He was dressed in his finest coat and vest. He was wearing his best derby hat and his shiniest shoes.
''How grand I look," said the Bear to himself. "The townsfolk will be impressed. My clothes are at the height of fashion."
"Forgive me for listening," said a Crow, who was sitting on the branch of a tree, "but I must disagree. Your clothes are not at the height of fashion. I have just flown in from town. I can tell you exactly how the gentlemen are dressed there."
"Do tell me!" cried the Bear. "I am so eager to wear the most proper attire!"
"This year," said the Crow, "the gentlemen are not wearing hats. They all have frying pans on their heads. They are not wearing coats and vests. They are covering themselves with bed sheets. They are not wear- ing shoes. They are putting paper bags on their feet."
"Oh, dear," cried the Bear, "my clothes are completely wrong!"
The Bear hurried home. He took off his coat and vest and hat and shoes. He put a frying pan on his head. He wrapped himself in a bed sheet. He stuffed his feet into large paper bags and rushed off toward the town.
When the Bear arrived on Main Street, the people giggled and smirked and pointed their fingers.
"What a ridiculous Bear!" they said.
The embarrassed Bear turned around and ran home. On the way he met the Crow again.
"Crow, you did not tell me the truth!" cried the Bear.
"I told you many things," said the Crow, as he flew out of the tree, "but never once did I tell you that I was telling the truth!"
Even though the Crow was high in the sky, the Bear could still hear the shrill sound of his cackling laughter.
Moral: When the need is strong, there are those who will believe anything.