The birds had decided to hold a beauty contest.
When the contestants were assembled, the eagle immediately declared that she should be the winner. "Behold!" she proclaimed. "I am surely the most beautiful bird that anyone has ever seen. What say you all?"
The other birds demurred, but then the peacock spoke up.
"You are indeed beautiful," he said to the eagle. "Although it's not so much your feathers" - and at this point the peacock unfurled his remarkable tail - "but rather your sharp beak and your fierce talons that make you the winner, threatening death to anyone who might disagree."
Inspired by: Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists by Roger L'Estrange, 445.
Notes: This fable is not part of the classical Aesop tradition; find out more here; this comes from Abstemius's Latin fables.