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Aesop's Fables | 300 fables contain lessons for living.

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The Tale, the Parable, and the Fable are all common and popular modes of conveying instruction. Each is distinguished by its own special characteristics. The Tale consists simply in the narration of a story either founded on facts, or created solely by the imagination, and not necessarily associated with the teaching of any moral lesson. The Parable is the designed use of language purposely intended to convey a hidden and secret meaning other than that contained in the words themselves; and which may or may not bear a special reference to the hearer or reader. The Fable partly agrees with, and partly differs from, both of these. It will contain, like the Tale, a short but real narrative; it will seek, like the Parable, to convey a hidden meaning, and that not so much by the use of language, as. by the skilful introduction of fictitious characters; and yet, unlike to either Tale or. Parable, it will ever keep in view, as its high prerogative, and inseparable attribute, the great purpose of instruction, and will necessarily seek to inculcate some moral maxim, social duty, or political truth. The true Fable if it rise to its high requirements, ever aims at
one great end and purpose—the representation of human motive, and the improvement of human conduct, and yet it so conceals its design under the disguise of fictitious characters, by clothing with speech the animals of the field, the birds of the air, the trees of the wood, or the beasts of the forest, that the reader shall receive advice without perceiving the presence of the adviser. Thus the superiority of the counsellor, which often renders counsel unpalatable, is kept out of view, and the lesson comes with the greater acceptance when the reader is led, unconsciously to himself, to have his sympathies enlisted in behalf of what is pure, honourable, and praiseworthy, and to have his indignation excited against what is low, ignoble, and unworthy. The true fabulist, therefore, discharges a most important function. He is neither a narrator, nor an allegorist. He is a great teacher, a corrector of morals, a censor of vice, and a commender of virtue. In this consists the superiority of the Fable over the Tale or the Parable. The fabulist is to create a laugh, but yet, under a merry guise, to convey instruction. Phsedrus, the great imitator of Esop, plainly indicates this double purpose to be the true office of the writer of fables.

Fables of Aesop

1. The Donkey and his Buyer
2. The Donkey and his Shadow
3. The Donkey and the Horseman
4. The Donkey and the Frogs
5. The Donkey and the Grasshoppers
6. The Donkey and the Horse
7. The Donkey and the Lapdog
8. The Donkey and the Mule
9. The Donkey and his Masters
10. The Donkey and his Driver
11. The Donkey and the Old Shepherd
12. The Donkey and the Wolf
13. The Donkey who Carried a Gilded Image
14. The Donkey in the Lion's Skin
15. The Donkey, the Cock, and the Lion
16. The Donkey, the Fox, and the Lion
17. The Bowman and Lion
18. The Doe and the Lion
19. The Kingdom of the Lion
20. The Lion and the Boar

The Donkey and His Buyer

A MAN wished to buy a donkey, and agreed with its owner that he should try out the animal before he bought him. He took the donkey home and led it to the manger to mix with his other donkeys. Very quickly the new animal turned his back on the others and joined the one that was most idle and the greatest eater of them all. Seeing this, the man put a halter on him and led him back to his owner.
On being asked how he could have given it a fair trial in so short a time, he answered,
"I don't need a trial. I feel certain that he'll be like the one he chose for his companion."
❖ People often judge us by the company we keep.

The Donkey and His Shadow

A TRAVELLER hired a donkey to carry him to a distant place. The day was intensely hot, and the sun was even hotter. The traveller stopped to rest and sought shelter from the heat under the shadow of the donkey. The owner who accompanied him, found no other shelter there, and the donkey shadow gave protection only for one.
Both the traveller and the owner of the donkey claimed it, and took to arguing violently as to who of them had the right to the shadow. The owner claimed that he had let out the donkey only, and not his shadow. The traveller asserted that along with hiring the donkey, he had hired his shadow too. The quarrel went on from words to blows, and while the men fought, the donkey galloped off.
❖ In quarrelling about the shadow we often lose the substance.

The Donkey and the Horseman

A DONKEY congratulated a horse on being so amply and carefully provided for, while he himself had scarcely enough to eat and not even that without hard work. But when war broke out, a heavily armed soldier mounted the horse; riding him to the charge, he rushed into the very midst of the enemy. The horse was wounded and fell dead on the battlefield. On seeing all these things the donkey changed his mind and pitied the horse.
❖ Full of trust, many domestic animals look up to those who dominate them severely.

The Donkey and the Frogs

A DONKEY who was carrying a load of wood, was crossing a bog one day when he slipped and fell. Unable to rise because of his load, he groaned heavily. Some frogs in the pool heard all this moaning and said,
"What sort of noise would you make if you had to live here always as we do, when you make such a fuss about a mere fall into the water?"
❖ Men often bear little grievances with less courage than they do large misfortunes.
❖ "You may lament your corn on the foot till someone without a leg comes along."

The Donkey and the Grasshoppers

A DONKEY heard some grasshoppers chirping and was charmed. Wanting to make melodies as well as they did, he demanded to know what sort of food they lived on to give them such beautiful voices.
"The dew," they answered.
The donkey decided that he would live only on dew, and in a short time starved to death.
❖ At times we have to examine ourselves to put our lives in order.
❖ We often do well when we stop longing for things that are not in our alley. Otherwise we can bring mishap on ourselves.
❖ We do well in pursuing nothing to our loss.

The Donkey and the Horse

A DONKEY asked a horse to spare him a small portion of his feed.
"Yes," said the horse; "if anything is left over of what I am now eating, I will give it you for the sake of my own superior dignity. And if you come over when I reach my own stall in the evening, I'll give you a little sack full of barley."
The donkey said,
"Thank you. But I can hardly think that you, who refuse me a little matter now, will by and by confer on me a greater benefit."
❖ The brave man sets out to bring about and even correct his position before he confers food and benefits to others.
❖ Some weak characters can be bought for food, not unlike Jacob's brother Esau in the Old Testament.

The Donkey and the Lapdog

A MAN had a donkey and a pretty Maltese lapdog. The donkey was left in a stable where there was plenty of oats and hay to eat. But the lapdog was fondled by the master and allowed to play with him. And when the man dined out, he would bring back titbits and throw them to the dog when it came running and rushing and wagging his tail.
The donkey on the other hand, had much work to do in grinding the corn-mill and in carrying wood from the forest or burdens from the farm. He often groaned over his own hard fate and contrasted it with the luxury and idleness of the lapdog, till one day he broke his cords and halter and galloped into his master's house. Frisking around his master, he kept kicking up his heels without measure. He also tried to jump about his master as he had seen the lapdog do, but broke the table and smashed the dishes on it. Then he tried to lick his master, and jumped on his back.
The servants heard these things and noticed their master was endangered. They quickly helped him and drove out the donkey to his stable with kicks and clubs tied him up in the manger again.
As the donkey returned to his stall beaten nearly to death, he moaned:
"I have brought it all on myself - It should have been enough for me to toil with my companions and not wish to emulate the little lapdog!"
❖ Keeping very still will not always be a cause for serious regret.
❖ Not to venture beyond our situation when it is good, may at times be the best alternative.
❖ Frisking about could ultimately lead to ruin and its remorse.

The Donkey and the Mule

A DONKEY and a mule, both well laden, were trudging along the road together. As long as the donkey travelled along the plain, he carried his load with ease. But when he began to walk upwards along the steep path of a mountain, his load became more than he could bear. Therefore he begged his companion to relieve him of a small portion, that he might carry home the rest. But the mule paid no attention to it. In a short while after that, the donkey fell down dead under his burden.
Not knowing what else to do in so wild a region, the muleteer placed the donkey's load on the mule in addition to his own. Finally, at the top of all he put the hide of the donkey after skinning him.
The mule, groaning beneath his heavy burden, said to himself:
"I brought it on myself. If I had been willing to help the donkey a little in his need, I should not now be bearing his burden and himself."
❖ It is not just at the start but at the finish that we should judge each other's condition.
❖ At times a good pause may mark the turn for the better.
❖ The superior man may fall back on his inner worth to escape major difficulties. He may therefore withdraw into seclusion instead of persevering like an overloaded donkey into very bad fortune.

The Donkey and His Masters

THERE was a donkey who belonged to an herb-seller who gave him too little food and too much work. So the animal begged Sir Success to release him from the herb-seller and give him another master. Sir Success then saw to it that he was sold to a potter. Shortly afterwards the donkey found that he now had heavier loads to carry and harder work as well. So he asked Sir Success for another master. Sir Success saw to it that he was sold to a tanner. This time the donkey found that he had fallen into still worse hands. And when he noticed what his master was doing for a living, he groaned,
"I would have been better off being starved by my first master or overworked by the other, than to have been bought by this new owner: Even when I am dead he will use me; flay me and tan my hide: make what is left of me useful to somebody."
❖ Good living and success may be had if you tackle bad people that make use of others to their hearts' content.

The Donkey and His Driver

A DONKEY was driven along a high road when suddenly he started off and bolted to the brink of a very deep gorge. Just as he was throwing himself over, his owner seized him by the tail, trying to pull him back. When the donkey persisted anyway, the man let him go and said,
"Conquer, but conquer to your cost."
❖ One may rise into prominence and power by pushing upwards and visiting great men, but hardly by blindly deluding oneself.

The Donkey and the Old Shepherd

A SHEPHERD, watching his donkey feeding in a meadow, was alarmed all of a sudden by the cries of the enemy approaching. He appealed to the donkey to fly with him to avoid being captured, but the animal lazily replied,
"Why should I? Do you think it likely the conqueror will place two sets of baskets on my back?"
"No," answered the shepherd.
"Then," said the donkey, "as long as I carry the baskets, what does it matter to me whom I serve?"
❖ In a change of government the poor change nothing above the name of their master.

The Donkey and the Wolf

A DONKEY grazing in a small meadow saw a wolf creep up on him, and at once pretended to be lame. The wolf, coming nearer, asked why he was limping. The donkey said that he had passed through a hedge where he had trod with his foot on a sharp thorn. He advised that the wolf pull it out, so that it would not harm his throat when he ate him. The wolf agreed and lifted up the foot, and concentrated on the hoof. Then the donkey kicked his teeth into his mouth and galloped away. Fearfully mauled, the wolf said,
"I deserved what I got. Why did I attempt the art of healing, when my father only taught me the trade of a butcher?"
❖ Enthusiasm of the heart expresses itself in more than galloping away.
❖ Be firm as a rock if it helps you to keep alive.
❖ Those who undertake things which are outside their natural abilities and expertise, may be in for troubles.

The Donkey Carrying the Image

A DONKEY once carried a famous wooden image through the streets of a city. The image was to be placed in a temple. As he passed along, the crowd bowed low before the image. The donkey thought that they bowed their heads in token of respect for him, and bristled up with pride. He started to bray and refused to move another step.
The driver guessed what he went through and gave him a whip about his shoulders, saying, "You stupid bonehead! Men have not yet started to adore a donkey."
❖ Wise ones refuse to take the credit due to others.
❖ The superior man is inexhaustible in his will to teach.
❖ The swift approach may confer a good deal more influence that a belated one.
❖ But, really, isn't a living being of taller value than carved and painted wood? Who were the ones to blame, really?

The Donkey in the Lion's Skin

A DONKEY who had put on the skin of a lion, roamed about in the forest and amused himself by frightening all the animals he met. At last he came on a fox and tried to frighten him too.
But the fox had heard his voice before, and exclaimed,
"I could have been scared if I had not heard your bray."
❖ Kings and nobility learnt how to get impressive by clothes and hermine and stuff, whereas the much simple-minded donkey failed along such a vein.
❖ The strong personality holds together with others that appear to complement his own nature.
❖ Don't put on airs if you can do without it.

The Donkey, the Cock, and the Lion

A DONKEY and a cockerel were in a straw-yard together when a lion drew near. He was about to spring on the donkey when the cock crowed so loudly that the lion fled - it is said that lions fear the sound of crowing cocks.
The donkey imagined that the lion fled because of him, and galloped after him, intending to attack him. But when the lion had run a little off and could not hear the cock, he turned round, seized the donkey and tore him to pieces.
As he was dying, the donkey brayed,
"How stupid of me to set out to fight when I was not born to warlike parents!"
❖ Overconfidence, no matter how sweet and brisk at first glance, may lead into trouble.
❖ In a good life, as good as everything needs to be treated with care, especially at the beginning, so that the return may lead to a flowering.

The Donkey, the Fox, and the Lion

THE DONKEY and the fox agreed to hunt together for mutual benefit, and went out into the forest. There they met a lion. Hoping to save himself from the danger, the fox drew near the lion and promised to catch the donkey for him if the lion would promise not to harm himself. Then, while assuring the donkey that he would not be injured, the fox led him to a deep pit and saw to it that he fell into it. But as soon as the lion saw that the donkey was secured, he clutched and ate the fox, and saved the donkey for later.
❖ Some who betray, may not be able to get on with their living after that.
❖ The superior man (and donkey?) forgives misdeeds at his own wise decision.
❖ The struggle for living must not be carried on with the wrong means and weapons.
❖ The companion worth having, has freedom to act through proper means, and values his integrity above life when it comes to some major issues.

The Bowman and Lion

A SKILFUL BOWMAN went to the mountains in search of game, but all the beasts of the forest fled when he came near. The lion alone challenged him to combat. The bowman at once shot out an arrow and said to the lion,
"I send you my messenger, that you may learn from him what I myself shall be when I assail you."
The wounded lion rushed away in great fear, and when a fox who had seen it all happen told him to be of good courage and not to back off at the first attack, he replied,
"You counsel me in vain; for if he sends so fearful a messenger, how shall I withstand the attack of the man himself?"
❖ Be on guard against men who can strike from a distance.

The Doe and the Lion

A DOE hard pressed by hunters sought refuge in a cave that belonged to a lion. The lion hid himself on seeing her approach, but when she was safe within the cave, sprang on her and tore her to pieces.
"Woe is me," exclaimed the doe, "who have escaped from man, only to throw myself into the mouth of a wild beast?"
❖ In avoiding one evil, care must be taken not to fall into another.

The Kingdom of the Lion

THE BEASTS of the field and forest had a lion as their king. He was neither wrathful, cruel, nor tyrannical, but just and gentle as a king could be. During his reign he made a royal proclamation that all the birds and beasts were to gather before him. When they did, he drew up conditions for a universal league, in which the wolf and the lamb, the panther and the kid, the tiger and the stag, the dog and the hare, should live together in perfect peace and amity.
The hare said, "Oh, how I have longed to see this day, where the weak shall take their place by the side of the strong, and without being punished for it." And after the hare said this, he ran for his life.
❖ There is a black sheep in every flock (American proverb).

The Lion and the Boar

ON A SUMMER DAY, when the great heat made the beasts thirsty, a lion and a boar came at the same moment to a small well to drink. They argued fiercely which of them should drink first, and were soon engaged in the agonies of a mortal combat. When they suddenly stopped to catch their breath for a fiercer renewal of the fight, they saw some vultures waiting in the distance to feast on the one that should fall first. At once they made up their quarrel, saying,
"It is better for us to make friends than to become the food of crows or vultures."
❖ You can catch more vultures and flies with carcasses than with vinegar.

21. The Lion and the Bull
22. The Lion and the Dolphin
23. The Lion and the Eagle
24. The Lion and the Fox
25. The Lion and the Hare
26. The Lion and the Mouse
27. The Lion and the Shepherd
28. The Lion in a Farmyard
29. The Lion in Love
30. The Lion, Sir Success, and the Elephant
31. The Lion, the Bear, and the Fox
32. The Lion, the Fox, and the Donkey
33. The Lion, the Mouse, and the Fox
34. The Lion, the Wolf, and the Fox
35. The Lioness
36. The Old lion
37. The Ill Lion
38. The Wild Donkey and the Lion
39. The Bear and the Hare
40. The Bear and the Two Travellers

The Lion and the Bull

A LION who greatly desired to capture a bull, and yet was afraid to attack him because of his great size, resorted to a trick to kill him. He approached the bull and said,
"I have slain a fine sheep, my friend; and if you will come home and partake of him with me, I shall be delighted to have your company."
The lion said this in the hope that the bull would recline to eat when he came home to his den, and then he might attack him successfully and make his meal on him.
On approaching the lion's den, the bull saw the huge spits and giant cauldrons, but no sign of the sheep. Then, without saying a word, he quietly left. The lion asked why he went off so abruptly without a word to salute his host, who had not given him any cause for offense.
"I have reasons enough," said the bull. "I see no indication at all of your having slaughtered a sheep, while I see very plainly every preparation for dining on a bull."
❖ Fools die young.
❖ The best time to prepare for old age is when you are young, by not being taken in a lot.

The Lion and the Dolphin

A LION was roaming by the seashore when he saw a dolphin lift up its head out of the waves. The lion suggested that the two of them became allied, saying that of all the animals they ought to be the best friends, since the one was the king of beasts on the earth, and the other was the sovereign ruler of all who lived in the sea. The dolphin gladly agreed.
Not long afterwards the lion had a combat with a wild bull, and called on the dolphin to help him. The dolphin, though quite willing to assist the lion, was unable to do so, as he could not by any means reach the land.
The lion abused him as a traitor, but the dolphin replied, "Nay, my friend, don't blame it on me, but Nature: While giving me the sovereignty of the sea, she quite denied me the power of living on the land."
❖ A hint is as good as a kick (American).

The Lion and the Eagle

AN EAGLE stayed his flight and entreated a lion to make an alliance with him to their mutual advantage. The lion replied,
"I have no objection, but you must excuse me for requiring you to find surety for your good faith, for how can I trust anyone as a friend who is able to fly away from his bargain whenever he pleases?"
❖ Try before you trust.

The Lion and the Fox

A FOX entered into partnership with a lion on the pretense of becoming his servant. Each undertook his proper duty in accordance with his own nature and powers. The fox discovered and pointed out the prey; the lion sprang on it and seized it.
The fox soon became jealous of the lion carrying off the lion's share, and said that he would no longer find out the prey, but would capture it on his own account. The next day he attempted to snatch a lamb from the fold, but he himself fell prey to the huntsmen and hounds.
❖ There is no joy without alloy (American).

The Lion and the Hare

A LION came across a hare who was fast asleep. He was just in the act of seizing her, when a fine young hart trotted by, and he left the hare to follow him. The hare, scared by the noise, awoke and scudded away. The lion was unable after a long chase to catch the hart, and returned to feed on the hare. On finding that the hare also had run off, he said,
"I deserved what I got, for having let go of the food that I had in my hand for the chance of obtaining more."
❖ Don't nurse your sorrows (Canadian).

The Lion and the Mouse

A LION was awakened from sleep by a mouse running over his face. Rising up angrily, he caught him and was about to kill him, when the mouse piteously entreated, saying: "If you would only spare my life, I would be sure to repay your kindness."
The lion laughed and let him go. It happened shortly after this that the lion was caught by some hunters, who bound him by strops to the ground.
The mouse, recognising his roar, came gnawed the rope with his teeth, and set him free, exclaiming,
"You ridiculed the idea of my ever being able to help you, expecting to receive from me any repayment of your favour; now you know that it is possible for even a mouse to confer benefits on a big lion."
❖ Height and size do not take care of everything.

The Lion and the Shepherd

A LION, roaming through a forest, trod on a thorn. Soon afterward he came up to a shepherd and fawned on him, wagging his tail as if to say, "I do indeed seek your aid."
The shepherd boldly examined the beast, discovered the thorn, and placing his paw on his lap, pulled it out. Thus relieved of his pain, the lion returned into the forest.
Some time after, the shepherd, being imprisoned on a false accusation, was condemned "to be cast to the lions" as the punishment for his imputed crime. But when the lion was released from his cage, he recognized the shepherd as the man who healed him, and instead of attacking him, approached and placed his foot on his lap. The king, as soon as he heard the tale, ordered the lion to be set free again in the forest, and the shepherd to be pardoned and restored to his friends.
❖ That is well spoken that is well taken (Canadian).

The Lion in a Farmyard

A LION entered a farmyard. The farmer, wishing to catch him, shut the gate. When the lion found that he could not escape, he flew on the sheep and killed them, and then attacked the oxen. The farmer, beginning to be alarmed for his own safety, opened the gate and released the lion. On his departure the farmer grievously lamented the destruction of his sheep and oxen, but his wife, who had been a spectator to all that took place, said,
"On my word, you are rightly served, for how could you for a moment think of shutting up a lion along with you in your farmyard when you know that you shake in your shoes if you only hear his roar at a distance?"
❖ Honesty which spoils the man and make it all worse for him, is hardly the best honesty to find.

The Lion in Love

A LION demanded the daughter of a woodcutter in marriage. The father, unwilling to grant, and yet afraid to refuse his request, hit on this expedient to rid himself of his importunities. He expressed his willingness to accept the lion as the suitor of his daughter on one condition: that he should allow him to extract his teeth, and cut off his claws, as his daughter was fearfully afraid of both.
The lion cheerfully assented to the proposal. But when the toothless, clawless lion returned to repeat his request, the woodman, no longer afraid, set on him with his club, and drove him away into the forest.
❖ Even the wildest can be tamed by love.

The Lion, Sir Success, and the Elephant

THE LION wearied Sir Success with his frequent complaints.
"It is true, Sir Success," he said, "that I am gigantic in strength, handsome in shape, and powerful in attack. I have jaws well provided with teeth, and feet furnished with claws, and I lord it over all the beasts of the forest, and what a disgrace it is, that being such as I am, I should be frightened by the crowing of a cock."
Sir Success replied, "Why do you blame me without a cause? I have given you all the attributes which I possess myself, and your courage never fails you except in this one instance."
On hearing this the lion groaned and lamented very much and, reproaching himself with his cowardice, wished that he might die. As these thoughts passed through his mind, he met an elephant and came close to hold a conversation with him. After a time he observed that the elephant shook his ears very often, and he inquired what was the matter and why his ears moved with such a tremor every now and then. Just at that moment a gnat settled on the head of the elephant, and he replied,
"Do you see that little buzzing insect? If it enters my ear, my fate is sealed. I should die presently."
The lion said, "Well, since so huge a beast is afraid of a tiny gnat, I will no more complain, nor wish myself dead. I find myself, even as I am, better off than the elephant."
❖ Who confesses inferiority can't call it superiority too.
❖ How can inferiority that is confessed or shared, be made better for it?

The Lion, the Bear, and the Fox

A LION and a bear seized a kid at the same moment, and fought fiercely for its possession. When they had fearfully lacerated each other and were faint from the long combat, they lay down exhausted with fatigue.
A fox, who had gone round them at a distance several times, saw them both stretched on the ground with the kid lying untouched in the middle. He ran in between them, and seising the kid scampered off as fast as he could. The lion and the bear saw him, but not being able to get up, said,
"Woe be to us, that we should have fought and striven only to serve the turn of a fox."
❖ As long as two kingfishers fight one another over a fish, none of them gets it.
❖ It sometimes happens that one man has all the toil, and another all the profit.

The Lion, the Fox, and the Donkey

THE LION, the fox and the donkey entered into an agreement to assist each other in the chase. Having secured a large booty, the lion on their return from the forest asked the donkey to allot his due portion to each of the three partners in the treaty. The donkey carefully divided the spoil into three equal shares and modestly requested the two others to make the first choice. The lion, bursting out into a great rage, devoured the donkey. Then he requested the fox to do him the favour to make a division. The fox accumulated all that they had killed into one large heap and left to himself the smallest possible morsel.
The lion said, "Who has taught you, my very excellent fellow, the art of division? You are perfect to a fraction."
He replied, "I learned it from the donkey, by witnessing his fate."
❖ Happy is the man who learns from the misfortunes of others, he is perhaps happier than the man who only loiters well.
❖ Having a fine-looking education among the ill-bred is not all there is to mastering life.

The Lion, the Mouse, and the Fox

A LION, fatigued by the heat of a summer's day, fell fast asleep in his den. A mouse ran over his mane and ears and woke him from his slumbers. He rose up and shook himself in great wrath, and searched every corner of his den to find the mouse. A fox seeing him said:
"A fine lion you are, to be frightened of a mouse."
"It is not the mouse I fear," said the lion; "I resent his familiarity and ill-breeding."
❖ If you excuse yourself you accuse yourself (American).
❖ Many excuses make one sullen.

The Lion, the Wolf, and the Fox

A LION, growing old, lay sick in his cave. All the beasts came to visit their king, except the fox. The wolf therefore, thinking that he had a capital opportunity, accused the fox to the lion of not paying any respect to him who had the rule over them all and of not coming to visit him.
At that very moment the fox came in and heard these last words of the wolf. The lion roaring out in a rage against him, the fox sought an opportunity to defend himself and said, "And who of all those who have come to you have benefited you so much as I, who have travelled from place to place in every direction, and have sought and learnt from the physicians the means of healing you?"
The lion commanded him at once to tell him the cure, when he replied, "You must flay a wolf alive and wrap his skin yet warm around you."
The wolf was at once taken and flayed; whereon the fox, turning to him, said with a smile, "You should have moved your master not to ill will, but to good will."
❖ The good cure will not always cost too much.
❖ Keep good company and you shall be of the number (Kansas).
❖ Who keeps company with a wolf is not the sole lord and master of ruin and disaster.

The Lioness

A CONTROVERSY prevailed among the beasts of the field as to which of the animals deserved the most credit for producing the greatest number of whelps at a birth. They rushed clamorously into the presence of the lioness and demanded of her the settlement of the dispute.
"And you," they said, "how many sons have you at a birth?" The lioness laughed at them, and said:
"Why! I have only one; but that one is altogether a thoroughbred lion."
❖ The true value of a thing is neither of its wrapping, nor of the way of sending it, express or otherwise.
❖ The value is also in the worth, not in the number.

The Old Lion

A LION, worn out with years and powerless from disease, lay on the ground at the point of death. A boar rushed on him, and avenged with a stroke of his tusks a long-remembered injury. Shortly afterwards the bull with his horns gored him as if he were an enemy. When the donkey saw that the huge beast could be assailed with impunity, he let drive at his forehead with his heels.
The expiring lion said,
"I have reluctantly brooked the insults of the brave, but to be compelled to endure such treatment from you, a disgrace to Nature, is indeed to die a double death."
❖ In old age one learns to brood well.
❖ Education is the best provision for old age (American).


The Ill Lion

A LION, unable from old age and infirmities to provide himself with food by force, resolved to do so by artifice. He returned to his den, and lying down there, pretended to be ill, taking care that his illness should be publicly known. The beasts expressed their sorrow, and came one by one to his den, where the lion devoured them.
After many of the beasts had thus disappeared, the fox discovered the trick and presenting himself to the lion, stood on the outside of the cave, at a respectful distance, and asked him how he was.
"I am very middling," replied the lion, "but why do you stand outside? Pray enter within to talk with me."
"No, thank you," said the fox. "I notice that there are many prints of feet entering your cave, but I see no trace of any returning."
❖ He that will outwit the old fox, had better make the city livable.
❖ He is wise who is warned by the misfortunes of others.


The Wild Donkey and the Lion

A WILD donkey and a lion entered into an alliance so that they might capture the beasts of the forest with greater ease. The lion agreed to assist the wild donkey with his strength, while the wild donkey gave the lion the benefit of his greater speed.
When they had taken as many beasts as they needed, the lion undertook to distribute the prey, and for this purpose divided it into three shares.
"I will take the first share," he said, "because I am King: and the second share, as a partner with you in the chase: and the third share (believe me) will be a source of great evil to you, unless you willingly resign it to me, and set off as fast as you can."
❖ Might makes right.

The Bear and the Hare

A BEAR boasted very much of his philanthropy, saying that of all animals he was the most tender in his regard for man, for he had such respect for him that he would not even touch his dead body. A hare who heard these words, said with a smile to the bear,
"If only you would eat the dead and not the living."
❖ A fault confessed is half redressed (American).

The Bear and the Two Travellers

TWO MEN were travelling together, when a bear suddenly met them on their path. One of them climbed up quickly into a tree and hid himself in the branches. The other, seeing that he must be attacked, fell flat on the ground, and when the bear came up and felt him with his snout, and smelt him all over, he held his breath, and feigned to be dead as much as he could.
The bear soon left him, for it is said he will not touch a dead body. When he was quite gone, the other traveller climbed down from the tree, and jocularly asked his friend what it was the bear had whispered in his ear.
"He gave me this advice," his companion replied. 'Never travel with a friend who deserts you when danger approaches.'"
❖ Misfortune tests the sincerity of friends.

41. The Kites and the Swans
42. The Raven and the Swan
43. The Swan and the Goose
44. The Geese and the Cranes
45. The Camel
46. The Camel and Jove
47. The Camel and the Arab
48. The Monkey and the Camel
49. The Farmer and the Snake
50. The Labourer and the Snake
51. The Wasp and the Snake
52. The Belly and the Members
53. The Bull and the Goat
54. The Charcoal-Burner and the Fuller
55. The Dog's House
56. The Beauty Contest
57. The Eagle, the Cat, and the Wild Sow
58. The Black Servant
59. The Fisherman and His Nets
60. The Fisherman Piping

The Kites and the Swans

IN THE OLD days both the kites and the swans could sing. But one day the kites heard the neigh of the horse and were so enchanted with the sound that they tried to imitate it. In trying to neigh, they forgot how to sing.
❖ The desire for imaginary benefits often involves the loss of present blessings.

The Raven and the Swan

A RAVEN saw a swan and desired to secure for himself the same beautiful feathers. Supposing that the swan's splendid white colour arose from his washing in the water in which he swam, the raven left the neighbourhood where he picked up his living and started to live in the lakes and pools. But cleansing his feathers as often as he would, he could not change their colour, and in the end he perished through want of food.
❖ Change of habit cannot alter Nature.
❖ Make one wrong step and down you go. (Canadian)

The Swan and the Goose

A CERTAIN rich man bought a goose and a swan in the market. He fed the one for his table and kept the other for the sake of its song. When the time came for killing the goose, the cook went to get him at night when it was dark, and he was not able to distinguish one bird from the other. By mistake he caught the swan instead of the goose.
The swan, threatened with death, burst into song and thus made himself known by his voice, and saved his life by his melody.
❖ He that conquers himself conquers an enemy: Be kind to animals (US proverbs).

The Geese and the Cranes

THE GEESE and the cranes were feeding in the same meadow, when a birdcatcher came to ensnare them in his nets. The cranes, being light of wing, fled away at his approach; while the geese, being slower of flight and heavier in their bodies, were captured.
❖ Much overweight surely is harsh at times.

The Camel

WHEN MAN first saw the camel, he was so frightened at his large size that he ran away. After a time, perceiving that the beast was really meek and quite gentle, he summoned courage enough to approach him. Soon afterwards he found out he could domesticate the animal, and felt bold enough to put a bridle in his mouth, and to let a child drive him.
❖ Use serves to overcome dread, for good or bad.

The Camel and Jove

THE CAMEL, when he saw the bull adorned with horns, envied him and wished that he himself could win the same honours. He went to the protecting Jove, and besought him to give him horns. Jove, vexed at his request because he was not satisfied with his size and strength of body, and desired yet more, not only refused to give him horns, but even deprived him of a portion of his ears.
❖ Don't ask for too much; your well-wisher may or may not get annoyed. ¤

The Camel and the Arab

AN ARAB camel-driver, after completing the loading of his camel, asked him which he would like best, to go up hill or down. The poor beast replied, not without a touch of reason:
"Why do you ask me? Is it that the level way through the desert is closed?"
❖ Many good ideas are born in idle minds. *

The Monkey and the Camel

THE BEASTS of the forest gave a splendid entertainment at which the monkey stood up and danced. Having vastly delighted the assembly, he sat down amidst universal applause. The camel, envious of the praises bestowed on the monkey and desiring to divert to himself the favour of the guests, proposed to stand up in his turn and dance for their amusement. He moved about in so utterly ridiculous a manner that the beasts, in a fit of indignation, set on him with clubs and drove him out of the assembly.
❖ It is absurd to ape our betters.

The Farmer and the Snake

ONE WINTER a farmer found a snake stiff and frozen with cold. He had compassion on it, and taking it up, placed it in his bosom. The snake was quickly revived by the warmth, and resuming its natural instincts, bit its benefactor, inflicting on him a mortal wound.
"Oh," cried the farmer with his last breath, "I deserved that . . . for pitying a scoundrel."
❖ The greatest kindness will not bind the ungrateful.
❖ When you see a snake, think twice before getting close to it.
❖ Standing and walking on your own two feet with long and thick woolen socks on, is hardly a nasty mistake in a European snake terrain.

The Labourer and the Snake

A SNAKE, having made his hole close to the porch of a cottage, inflicted a mortal bite on the cottager's infant son. Grieving over his loss, the father decided to kill the snake. The next day, when it came out of its hole for food, he took up his axe, but by swinging too hastily, missed its head and cut off only the end of its tail.
After some time the cottager, afraid that the snake would bite him also, endeavored to make peace, and placed some bread and salt in the hole. The snake, slightly hissing, said:
"From now on there can be no peace between us; for whenever I see you I shall remember the loss of my tail, and whenever you see me you will be thinking of the death of your son."
❖ No one truly forgets injuries in the presence of him who caused the injury.

The Wasp and the Snake

A WASP seated himself on the head of a snake and, striking him unceasingly with his stings, wounded him to death. The snake, being in great torment and not knowing how to rid himself of his enemy, saw a wagon heavily laden with wood, and went and purposely placed his head under the wheels, saying,
"At least my enemy and I shall perish together."
And so they did.
❖ Some deep wounds are inflicted by praise (American).
❖ Good wits commonly figure out what's best to do.

The Belly and the Members

THE MEMBERS of the body rebelled against the belly, and said,
"Why should we be always engaged in administering to your wants, while you do nothing but rest and enjoy yourself in luxury?"
The members carried out their resolve and refused to assist the belly. The whole body quickly became debilitated, and the hands, feet, mouth, and eyes, when too late, repented of their folly.
❖ When the fox preaches, beware of your geese (American).

The Bull and the Goat

A BULL, escaping from a lion, hid in a cave which some shepherds had recently occupied. As soon as he entered, a he-goat left in the cave sharply attacked him with his horns. The bull quietly addressed him:
"Butt away as much as you will. I have no fear of you, but of the lion. Let that monster go away and I will soon let you know what is the strength of a goat to that of a bull."
❖ It shows an evil disposition to take advantage of a friend in distress.

The Charcoal-Burner and the Fuller

A CHARCOAL-BURNER carried on his trade in his own house. One day he met a friend, a fuller, and begged him to come and live with him, saying that they should be far better neighbours and that their housekeeping expenses would be lessened.
The fuller replied,
"The arrangement is impossible as far as I am concerned, for whatever I should whiten, you would at once blacken again with your charcoal."
❖ Like will draw like.

The Dog's House

IN THE WINTERTIME, a dog curled up in as small a space as possible on account of the cold, determined to make himself a house. However when the summer returned again, he lay asleep stretched at his full length and appeared to himself to be of a great size. Now he considered that it would be neither an easy nor a necessary work to make himself such a house as would accommodate him.
❖ Laziness travels so slowly that poverty overtakes him (American).

The Beauty Contest

Jove had it proclaimed to all the animals of the forest that the one with the prettiest offspring would get a royal reward. The monkey came with the rest to the beauty contest and presented with all a mother's tenderness a flat-nosed, hairless, ill-featured young monkey as a candidate. When she presented her son, those present laughed. She frankly said,
"I don't know whether Jove will give the prize to my son or not. But this I know, that in the eyes of me his mother he is the dearest, handsomest, and most beautiful of all."
❖ Where the dearest one is flat-nosed, expect a majority to be that as well.

The Eagle, the Cat, and the Wild Sow

AN EAGLE made her nest at the top of a lofty oak; a cat, having found a convenient hole, moved into the middle of the trunk; and a wild sow, with her young, took shelter in a hollow at its foot.
The cat cunningly resolved to destroy this chance-made colony. To carry out her design, she climbed to the nest of the eagle, and said,
"Destruction is preparing for you, and for me too, unfortunately. The wild sow, whom you see daily digging up the earth, wishes to uproot the oak, so she may on its fall seize our families as food for her young."
Having thus frightened the eagle out of her senses, she crept down to the cave of the sow, and said,
"Your children are in great danger; for as soon as you go out with your litter to find food, the eagle is prepared to pounce on one of your little pigs."
Having instilled these fears into the sow, she went and pretended to hide herself in the hollow of the tree. When night came she went forth with silent foot and got food for herself and her kittens, but feigning to be afraid, she kept a lookout all through the day. Meanwhile, the eagle, full of fear of the sow, sat still on the branches, and the sow, terrified by the eagle, did not dare to go out from her cave. And thus they both, along with their families, perished from hunger, and afforded ample provision for the cat and her kittens.
❖ Twin fools: one doubts nothing, the other, everything (American).

The Black Servant

THE BUYER of a black servant was persuaded that the colour of his skin stemmed from dirt had through the neglect of his former masters. On bringing him home he washed and scrubbed and cleaned him a long time. As a result the servant caught a severe cold, but he never changed his colour or complexion.
❖ What runs in the family, will not come off easily.

The Fisherman and His Nets

A FISHERMAN, engaged in his calling, made a very successful cast and captured a great haul of fish. He managed by a skilful handling of his net to retain all the large fish and to draw them to the shore; but he could not prevent the smaller fish from falling back through the meshes of the net into the sea.
❖ Take each day as it comes, and each haul also (Partial American).

The Fisherman Piping

A FISHERMAN skilled in music, took his flute and his nets to the seashore. Standing on a projecting rock, he played several tunes. By that he hoped that the fish would be attracted by his melody and of their own accord dance into his net where he had placed it below somewhere.
At last, after waiting long in vain, he laid aside his flute, and cast his net into the sea. Then he made an excellent haul of fish. When he saw them leaping about in the net on the rock he said:
"You funny creatures. When I piped you would not dance. But now that I have ceased, you do it merrily."
❖ Caught fish isn't merry: Not everyone that dances needs a happy tune.
❖ The problem is one of faulty method. To blame one's faulty ways on others can reveal stubborn stupidity as well.

61. The Fishermen
62. The Fisherman and the Little Fish
63. The Fawn and His Mother
64. The Fox and the Grapes
65. The Grasshopper and the Owl
66. The Hawk and the Nightingale
67. The Hawk, the Kite, and the Pigeons
68. The Lamp
69. The Mischievous Dog
70. The North Wind and the Sun
71. The Rivers and the Sea
72. The Ill Kite
73. The Two Men Who Were Enemies
74. The Swan and the Goose
75. The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
76. The Two Frogs
77. The Wolves and the Sheepdogs
78. The Cobbler Turned Doctor
79. The Crow and the Serpent
80. The Crow and the Pitcher

The Fishermen

SOME FISHERMEN were out trawling their nets. Perceiving them to be very heavy, they danced about for joy and supposed that they had taken a large catch. When they had dragged the nets to the shore they found but few fish: the nets were full of sand and stones. The men, who had formed such high expectations, were extra downcast for them. And then one of their company, an old man, said,
"Let us cease lamenting, my mates, for, as it seems to me, sorrow is always the twin sister of joy; and it was only to be looked for that we, who just now were over-rejoiced, should next have something to make us sad."
❖ You cannot always tell what's in the package by its cover (cf. an American proverb).
❖ Correspondingly, we cannot always tell what's in the net by its weight alone.

The Fisherman and the Little Fish

A FISHERMAN who lived on the produce of his nets, one day caught a single small fish as the result of his day's labour. The fish, panting convulsively, thus begged for his life:
"Oh, what good can I be to you, and how little am I worth? I am not yet come to my full size. Pray spare my life, and put me back into the sea. I shall soon become a large fish fit for the tables of the rich, and then you can catch me again, and make a handsome profit of me."
The fisherman replied,
"I would be a simple fellow if I were to forego my present certain gain for the chance of a greater, but uncertain profit."
❖ A fine fairy-tale could have taken another direction at that point -
❖ He labours in vain who tries to please everybody (American).

The Fawn and His Mother

A YOUNG FAWN once said to his mother, "You are larger than a dog, and swifter, and more used to running, and you have your horns as a defence; why, then, Mother! do the hounds frighten you so?"
She smiled, and said: "I know full well, my son, that all you say is true. I have the advantages you mention, but when I hear even the bark of a single dog I feel ready to faint, and fly away as fast as I can."
❖ No arguments will give courage to the coward.

The Fox and the Grapes

A HUNGRY FOX tried to reach some clusters of grapes which he saw hanging from a vine that was trained on a tree. She wearied herself in vain, for the grapes hung too high up, and she could not reach them. At last she turned away, saying:
"I guess they were unripe anyhow."
❖ Some men too, when they fail by falling short, blame circumstances or others undeservedly.

The Grasshopper and the Owl

AN OWL, used to feed at night and to sleep during the day, was greatly disturbed by the noise of a grasshopper and earnestly asked her to stop chirping. The grasshopper refused that, and chirped louder and louder the more the owl begged. When she saw that she could get no redress and that her words were despised, the owl attacked the chatterer by a stratagem.
"Since I cannot sleep," she said, "on account of your song which, believe me, is sweet as the lyre of Sir Apollo, I shall indulge myself in drinking nectar I have been given. If you do not dislike it, come to me and we will drink it together."
The grasshopper, who was thirsty, and pleased with the praise of her voice, eagerly flew up. The owl came forth from her hollow, seized her, and put her to death.
❖ Behind much sweet talk can be a deadly sting.

The Hawk and the Nightingale

A NIGHTINGALE, sitting aloft on an oak and singing according to his wont, was seen by a hawk who, being in need of food, swooped down and seized him. The nightingale, about to lose his life, earnestly begged the hawk to let him go, saying that he was not big enough to satisfy the hunger of a hawk who, if he wanted food, ought to pursue the larger birds. The hawk, interrupting him, said:
"I should indeed have lost my senses if I should let go food ready in my hand, for the sake of pursuing birds which are not yet even within sight."
❖ Friendly talk won't feed the hungry bird.

The Hawk, the Kite, and the Pigeons

The pigeons, terrified by the appearance of a kite, called on the hawk to defend them. He at once agreed. When they had admitted him into the cote, they found that he made more havoc and slew a larger number of them in one day than the kite could pounce on in a whole year.
❖ Avoid a remedy that is worse than the disease.

The Lamp

A LAMP, soaked with too much oil and flaring brightly, boasted that it gave more light than the sun. Then a sudden puff of wind arose, and the lamp was at once blown out. Its owner lit it again, and said:
"Boast no more, but from now on be content to give your light in silence. Know that not even the stars need to be relit."
❖ A little stumble may prevent a fall (cf. American).

The Mischievous Dog

A DOG used to run up quietly to the heels of everyone he met, and to bite them without notice. His master suspended a bell about his neck so that the dog might give notice of his presence wherever he went. Thinking it a mark of distinction, the dog grew proud of his bell and went tinkling it all over the marketplace. One day an old hound said to him,"
"Why do you make such an exhibition of yourself? That bell that you carry is not, believe me, any order of merit, but on the contrary a mark of disgrace, a public notice to all men to avoid you as an ill-mannered dog."
❖ Notoriety can be mistaken for fame.

The North Wind and the Sun

THE NORTH WIND and the sun disputed as to which was the most powerful, and agreed that he should be declared the victor who could first strip a wayfaring man of his clothes.
The north wind first tried his power and blew with all his might, but the keener his blasts, the closer the traveller wrapped his cloak around him, till at last, resigning all hope of victory, the wind called on the sun to see what he could do. The sun suddenly shone out with all his warmth. The traveller no sooner felt his genial rays than he took off one garment after another, and at last, fairly overcome with heat, undressed and bathed in a stream that lay in his path.
❖ Grand persuasion may work better than force.

The Rivers and the Sea

THE RIVERS joined together to complain to the sea, saying,
"Why is it that when we flow into your tides so potable and sweet, you work in us such a change, and make us salty and unfit to drink?"
The sea, perceiving that they intended to throw the blame on him, said,
"Well, cease to flow into me, and then you will not be made briny."
❖ Don't accuse if you're unsure.

The Ill Kite

A KITE, ill to death, said to his mother: "Mother! do not mourn, but at once invoke the hereafter that my life may be prolonged."
She replied,
"Alas, son! Which in the hereafter do you think will pity you? Is there one whom you have not outraged by eating the flesh from their bones on the roof-tops?"*
❖ We should make friends in prosperity if we would have their help in adversity.
The ancient burial custom in Persia and other places was to leave corpses on flat roofs of houses to let large birds handle them. - TK

The Two Men Who Were Enemies

TWO MEN, deadly enemies to each other, were sailing in the same vessel. Determined to keep as far apart as possible, the one seated himself in the stem, and the other in the prow of the ship. A violent storm arose, and with the vessel in great danger of sinking, the one in the stern asked of the pilot which of the two ends of the ship would go down first.
The pilot answered that he supposed it would be the prow, and then the man said, "Death would not be grievous to me, if I could only see my enemy die before me."
❖ Too much of a good thing easily turns into something bad, and too much of a bad thing almost looks like a good thing.

The Swan and the Goose

A CERTAIN rich man bought in the market a goose and a swan. He fed the one for his table and kept the other for the sake of its song. When the time came for killing the goose, the cook went to get him at night, when it was dark, and he was not able to distinguish one bird from the other. By mistake he caught the swan instead of the goose. The swan, threatened with death, burst forth into song and thus made himself known by his voice, and preserved his life by his melody.
❖ The songs of the tongue may be dipped in the blood of the heart.

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

A COUNTRY MOUSE invited a town mouse, an intimate friend, to pay him a visit and take part of his country fare. As they were on the bare ploughlands, eating there wheat-stocks and roots pulled up from the hedgerow, the town mouse said to his friend,
"You live here the life of the ants, while in my house is the horn of plenty. I am surrounded by every luxury, and if you will come with me, as I wish you would, you shall have an ample share of my dainties."
The country mouse was easily persuaded, and returned to town with his friend. On his arrival, the town mouse placed before him bread, barley, beans, dried figs, honey, raisins, and, last of all, brought a dainty piece of cheese from a basket. The country mouse, being much delighted at the sight of such good cheer, expressed his satisfaction in warm terms and lamented his own hard fate.
Just as they were beginning to eat, someone opened the door, and they both ran off squeaking, as fast as they could, to a hole so narrow that two could only find room in it by squeezing. They had scarcely begun their repast again when someone else entered to take something out of a cupboard, whereupon the two mice, more frightened than before, ran away and hid themselves. At last the country mouse, almost famished, said to his friend:
"Although you have prepared for me so dainty a feast, I must leave you to enjoy it by yourself. It is surrounded by too many dangers to please me. I prefer my bare ploughlands and roots from the hedgerow, where I can live in safety, and without fear."
❖ When a feast is over, it is naturally easier to talk in favour of rustic living.
❖ A shady business does not easily yield a sunny life (cf. American).

The Two Frogs

TWO FROGS were neighbours. One inhabited a deep pond, far removed from public view; the other lived in a gully containing little water, and traversed by a country road. The frog that lived in the pond warned his friend to change his residence and begged him to come and live with him, saying that he would enjoy greater safety from danger and more abundant food. The other refused, saying that he felt it so very hard to leave a place to which he had become accustomed. A few days afterwards a heavy wagon passed through the gully and crushed him to death under its wheels.
❖ A wilful man will have his way to his own hurt.

The Wolves and the Sheepdogs

THE WOLVES once said to the sheepdogs:
"Why should you, who are like us in so many things, not be entirely of one mind with us, and live with us as brothers should? We differ from you in one point only. We live in freedom, but you bow down to and slave for men, who in return for your services flog you with whips and put collars on your necks. They make you also guard their sheep, and while they eat the mutton throw only the bones to you. If you will be persuaded by us, you will give us the sheep, and we will enjoy them in common, till we all are surfeited."
The dogs listened favourably to these proposals, and, entering the den of the wolves, they were set on and torn to pieces.
❖ Isolation means abolishment (American).

The Cobbler Turned Doctor

A COBBLER, unable to make a living by his trade and made desperate by poverty, began to practice medicine in a town where he was not known. He sold a drug, pretending that it was an antidote to all poisons, and obtained a great name for himself by long-winded puffs and advertisements.
When the cobbler happened to fall sick himself of a serious illness, the governor of the town determined to test his skill. For this purpose he called for a cup, and while filling it with water, pretended to mix poison with the cobbler's antidote, commanding him to drink it on the promise of a reward. The cobbler, under the fear of death, confessed that he had no knowledge of medicine, and was only made famous by the stupid clamours of the crowd.
The governor then called a public assembly and addressed the citizens:
"Of what folly have you been guilty? You have not hesitated to entrust your heads to a man, whom no one could employ to make even the shoes for their feet."
❖ Plan your work in advance, and thus let it become a fair investment in the course of time.

The Crow and the Serpent

A CROW in great want of food saw a serpent asleep in a sunny nook, and flying down, greedily seized him. The serpent, turning about, bit the crow with a mortal wound.
In the agony of death, the bird exclaimed:
"O unhappy me! who have found in that which I deemed a happy windfall the source of my destruction."
❖ Speed does not take heed (American).

The Crow and the Pitcher

A CROW perishing with thirst saw a pitcher, and hoping to find water, flew to it with delight. When he reached it, he discovered to his grief that it contained so little water that he could not possibly get at it. He tried everything he could think of to reach the water, but all his efforts were in vain.
At last he collected as many stones as he could carry and dropped them one by one with his beak into the pitcher, till he brought the water within his reach and thus saved his life.
❖ Necessity is one of the mothers of invention.

81. The Crow and the Raven
82. The Crow and the Sheep
83. The Crow and Lord Transporter
84. The Farmer and His Sons
85. The Farmer and the Cranes
86. The Farmer and the Fox
87. The Farmer and the Stork
88. The Lark and Her Young Ones
89. The Spendthrift and the Swallow
90. The Fighting Cocks and the Eagle
91. The Goat and the Donkey
92. The Goat and the Goatherd
93. The Goatherd and the Wild Goats
94. The Old Hound
95. The Old Lion
96. The Thief and His Mother
97. The Thief and the House-Dog
98. The Thief and the Innkeeper
99. The Thieves and the Cock
100. The Cat and the Birds

The Crow and the Raven

A CROW was jealous of the raven, because he was considered a bird of good omen and always attracted the attention of men, who noted by his flight the good or evil course of future events. Seeing some travellers approaching, the crow flew up into a tree, and perching herself on one of the branches, cawed as loudly as she could. The travellers turned towards the sound and wondered what it foreboded, when one of them said to his companion,
"Let us proceed on our journey, my friend, for it is only the caw of a crow, and her cry, you know, is no omen."
❖ Those who assume a character which does not belong to them, only make themselves ridiculous.

The Crow and the Sheep

A TROUBLESOME CROW seated herself on the back of a sheep. The sheep, much against his will, carried her backward and forward for a long time, and at last said,
"If you had treated a dog in this way, you would have had your deserts from his sharp teeth."
The crow replied,
"I despise the weak and yield to the strong. I know whom I may bully and whom I must flatter; and I thus prolong my life to a good old age."
❖ An abused and despised sheep cannot expose a crow's first concerns unless the crow revals them herself.

The Crow and Lord Transporter

A CROW caught in a snare prayed to the merciful Lord Success to release him, making a vow to offer some frankincense at his shrine. But when rescued from his danger, he forgot his promise. Shortly afterwards, again caught in a snare, he passed by Lord Success and made the same promise to offer frankincense to Lord Transporter. Lord Transporter soon appeared and said to him,
"You most base fellow - how can I believe you, who have disowned and wronged your former patron?"
❖ The last sham promise can be the hardest.

The Farmer and His Sons

A FATHER, being on the point of death, wished to be sure that his sons would give the same attention to his farm as he himself had given it. He called them to his bedside and said,
"My sons, there is a great treasure hid in one of my vineyards."
The sons, after his death, took their spades and mattocks and carefully dug over every portion of their land. They found no treasure, but the vines repaid their labour by an extraordinary and superabundant crop.
❖ Simple wishes, simple souls.
❖ Nothing worth having ever comes without a lot of hard work. [American proverb, Ap 675]

The Farmer and the Cranes

SOME CRANES made their feeding grounds on some ploughlands newly sown with wheat. For a long time the farmer, brandishing an empty sling, chased them away by the terror he inspired; but when the birds found that the sling was only swung in the air, they ceased to take any notice of it and would not move. The farmer, on seeing this, charged his sling with stones, and killed a great number. The remaining birds at once forsook his fields, crying to each other,
"It is time for us to be off to Liliput: for this man is no longer content to scare us, but begins to show us in earnest what he can do."
❖ Quietly the gentle reflect before killing others.

The Farmer and the Fox

A FARMER, who bore a grudge against a fox for robbing his poultry yard, caught him at last, and being determined to take an ample revenge, tied some rope well soaked in oil to his tail, and set it on fire. The fox by a strange fatality rushed to the fields of the farmer who had captured him. It was the time of the wheat harvest; but the farmer reaped nothing that year and returned home grieving sorely.
❖ The innocent may also run rampant.
❖ It seems unwise to seek an outlet for negative feelings at the cost of solving a problem with integrity.

The Farmer and the Stork

A FARMER placed nets on his newly-sown plough-lands and caught a number of cranes, which came to pick up his seed. With them he trapped a stork that had fractured his leg in the net and was earnestly beseeching the farmer to spare his life.
"Pray save me, master," he said, "and let me go free this once. My broken limb should excite your pity. Besides, I am no crane, I am a stork, a bird of excellent character; and see how I love and slave for my father and mother. Look too, at my feathers - they are not the least like those of a crane."
The farmer laughed aloud and said,
"It may be all as you say, I only know this: I have taken you with these robbers, the cranes, and you must die in their company."
❖ Birds of a feather flock together.
❖ Using your head is safer than just trusting to robbers.

The Lark and Her Young Ones

A LARK had made her nest in the early spring on the young green wheat. The brood had almost grown to their full strength and attained the use of their wings and the full plumage of their feathers, when the owner of the field, looking over his ripe crop, said,
"The time has come when I must ask all my neighbours to help me with my harvest."
One of the young Larks heard his speech and related it to his mother, inquiring of her to what place they should move for safety.
"There is no occasion to move yet, my son," she replied; "the man who only sends to his friends to help him with his harvest is not really in earnest."
The owner of the field came again a few days later and saw the wheat shedding the grain from excess of ripeness. He said,
"I will come myself tomorrow with my labourers, and with as many reapers as I can hire, and will get in the harvest."
The lark on hearing these words said to her brood, "It is time now to be off, my little ones, for the man is in earnest this time; he no longer trusts his friends, but will reap the field himself."
❖ Self-help is the best help.
❖ Much depends on who owns the soil.
❖ One is to plumb the depths by being in earnest so as to get a good enough harvest somewhere.

The Lark Burying Her Father

THE LARK, according to an ancient legend, was created before the earth itself, and when her father died, as there was no earth, she could find no place of burial for him. She let him lie uninterred for five days, and on the sixth day, not knowing what else to do, she buried him in her own head. Hence she obtained her crest, which is popularly said to be her father's grave-hillock.
❖ In pursuit of better things, drop impossible fables such as this one. Do not deny yourself such happiness.

The Spendthrift and the Swallow

A YOUNG MAN, a great spendthrift, had run through all his patrimony and had but one good cloak left. One day he happened to see a swallow, which had appeared before its season, skimming along a pool and twittering gaily. He supposed that summer had come, and went and sold his cloak. Not many days later, winter set in again with renewed frost and cold. When he found the unfortunate swallow lifeless on the ground, he said,
"Unhappy bird! what have you done? By thus appearing before the springtime you have not only killed yourself, but you have wrought my destruction also."
❖ One swallow does not make a summer. [Proverb, Ap 573]
❖ A man must not swallow more than he can digest. [American proverb, Ap 150] :)

The Fighting Cocks and the Eagle

TWO GAME COCKS were fiercely fighting for the mastery of the farmyard. One at last put the other to flight. The vanquished cock skulked away and hid himself in a quiet corner, while the conqueror, flying up to a high wall, flapped his wings and crowed exultingly with all his might. An eagle sailing through the air pounced on him and carried him off in his talons. The vanquished cock at once came out of his corner, and ruled henceforth with undisputed mastery.
❖ Pride goes before destruction.
❖ Observe to make good use of real opportunities.

The Goat and the Donkey

A MAN once kept a goat and a donkey. The goat, envying the donkey on account of his greater abundance of food, said,
"How shamefully you are treated: at one time grinding in the mill, and at another carrying heavy burdens"; and he further advised him to pretend to be epileptic and fall into a ditch and so get rest.
The donkey listened to his words, and falling into a ditch, was very much bruised. His master, sending for a leech, asked his advice. He bade him pour on the wounds the lungs of a goat. They at once killed the goat, and so healed the donkey.
❖ Living takes up a great deal of our time.
❖ Goats and men hardly ever think their fortune too great nor their wit too little. [Cf. Ap 267]

The Goat and the Goatherd

A GOATHERD had sought to bring back a stray goat to his flock. He whistled and sounded his horn in vain; the straggler paid no attention to the summons. At last the goatherd threw a stone, and breaking its horn, begged the goat not to tell his master. The goat replied,
"Why, you silly fellow, the horn will speak though I be silent."
❖ Do not try to hide things which cannot be hid.

The Goatherd and the Wild Goats

A GOATHERD, driving his flock from their pasture at eventide, found some wild goats mingled among them, and shut them up together with his own for the night.
The next day it snowed very hard, so that he could not take the herd to their usual feeding places, but was obliged to keep them in the fold. He gave his own goats just enough food to keep them alive, but fed the strangers more abundantly in the hope of enticing them to stay with him and of making them his own. When the thaw set in, he led them all out to feed, and the wild goats scampered away as fast as they could to the mountains.
The goatherd scolded them for their ingratitude in leaving him, when during the storm he had taken more care of them than of his own herd. One of them, turning about, said to him:
"That is the very reason why we are so cautious; for if you yesterday treated us better than the goats you have had so long, it is plain also that if others came after us, you would in the same manner prefer them to ourselves."
❖ Old friends cannot with impunity be sacrificed for new ones.
❖ One is to welcome the new without dispensing with the old that is fit. Also observe: "It is best to be off with the old love / before you are on with the new. [Songs of England and Scotland (1835)]."

The Old Hound

A HOUND, who in the days of his youth and strength had never yielded to any beast of the forest, encountered in his old age a boar in the chase. He seized him boldly by the ear, but could not retain his hold because of the decay of his teeth, so that the boar escaped.
His master, quickly coming up, was very much disappointed, and fiercely abused the dog. The hound looked up and said,
"It was not my fault, master: My spirit was as good as ever, but I could not help my infirmities. I rather deserve to be praised for what I have been, than to be blamed for what I am."
❖ Both a friend and a dog are to be taken with their faults. [Cf. Ap 234]

The Old Lion

A LION, worn out with years and powerless from disease, lay on the ground at the point of death. A boar rushed on him, and avenged with a stroke of his tusks a long-remembered injury. Shortly afterwards the bull with his horns gored him as if he were an enemy. When the donkey saw that the huge beast could be assailed with impunity, he let drive at his forehead with his heels. The expiring lion said,
"I have reluctantly brooked the insults of the brave, but to be compelled to endure such treatment from you, amounts to dying a double death."
❖ Keeping life in perspective depends a lot on how big and vehement others are.

The Thief and His Mother

A BOY stole a lesson-book from one of his school-fellows and took it home to his mother. She not only abstained from beating him, but encouraged him. He next time stole a cloak and brought it to her, and she again commended him. The youth, advanced to adulthood, proceeded to steal things of still greater value. At last he was caught in the very act, and having his hands bound behind him, was led away to the place of public execution. His mother followed in the crowd and violently beat her breast in sorrow, whereupon the young man said,
"I wish to say something to my mother in her ear."
She came close to him, and he quickly seized her ear with his teeth and bit it off. The mother upbraided him as an unnatural child, whereon he replied,
"Ah! if you had beaten me when I first stole and brought to you that lesson-book, I should not have come to this, nor have been thus led to a disgraceful death."
❖ It seems too late to upbraid a rascal son when he has bitten your ear off.
❖ Prefer to admonish in private, and praise in public. [Cf. Ap 238]

The Thief and the House-Dog

A THIEF came in the night to break into a house. He brought with him several slices of meat in order to pacify the house-dog, so that he would not alarm his master by barking. As the thief threw him the pieces of meat, the dog said,
"If you think to stop my mouth, you will be greatly mistaken. This sudden kindness at your hands will only make me more watchful, lest under these unexpected favours to myself, you have some private ends to accomplish for your own benefit, and for my master's injury."
❖ Having great suspicions and a fierce temper are two of the things the watchdog thrives by.

The Thief and the Innkeeper

A THIEF hired a room in a tavern and stayed a while in the hope of stealing something which should enable him to pay his reckoning. When he had waited some days in vain, he saw the innkeeper dressed in a new and handsome coat and sitting before his door. The thief sat down beside him and talked with him. As the conversation began to flag, the thief yawned terribly and at the same time howled like a wolf. The innkeeper said,
"Why do you howl so fearfully?"
"I will tell you," said the thief, "but first let me ask you to hold my clothes, or I shall tear them to pieces. I don't know, sir, when I got this habit of yawning, nor whether these attacks of howling were inflicted on me as a judgement for my crimes, or for any other cause; but this I do know, that when I yawn for the third time, I actually turn into a wolf and attack men."
With this speech he commenced a second fit of yawning and again howled like a wolf, as he had at first. The innkeeper. hearing his tale and believing what he said, became greatly alarmed and, rising from his seat, tried to run away. The thief laid hold of his coat and begged him to stop, saying,
"Pray wait, sir, and hold my clothes, or I shall tear them to pieces in my fury, when I turn into a wolf."
At the same moment he yawned the third time and set up a terrible howl. The innkeeper, frightened lest he should be attacked, left his new coat in the thief's hand and ran as fast as he could into the inn for safety. The thief made off with the coat and did not return again to the inn.
❖ Inexperienced people may be mocked and some may be destroyed by hypocrites.

The Thieves and the Cock

SOME THIEVES broke into a house and found nothing but a cock, whom they stole, and got off as fast as they could. On arriving at home they prepared to kill the cock, who thus pleaded for his life:
"Pray spare me; I am very serviceable to men. I wake them up in the night to their work."
"That is the very reason why we must the more kill you," they replied; "for when you wake your neighbours, you entirely put an end to our business."
❖ The safeguards of virtue are hateful to those with evil intentions.

The Cat and the Birds

A CAT, hearing that the birds in a certain aviary were ailing, dressed himself up as a physician, and, taking his cane and a bag of instruments becoming his profession, went to call on them. He knocked at the door and asked of the inmates how they all did, saying that if they were ill, he would be happy to prescribe for them and cure them. They replied,
"We are all very well, and shall continue so, if you will only be good enough to go away, and leave us as we are."
❖ Fond of doctors, little health. [Cf. Ap 364]
❖ A human should be realistic to enter circumstances and settings that conform to his nature. There he may rise to sing happily for quite a while.

101. The Cat and the Cock
102. The Cat and the Mice
103. The Cat and Lady Love
104. The Eagle and His Captor
105. The Eagle and the Arrow
106. The Eagle and the Fox
107. The Eagle and the Jackdaw
108. The Eagle and the Kite
109. The Eagle, the Cat, and the Wild Sow
110. The Horse and Groom
111. The Horse and His Rider
112. The Horse and the Stag
113. The Man and His Two Sweethearts
114. The Man and His Wife
115. The Man and the Lion
116. The Man and the Mountain-Dweller
117. The Man Bitten by a Dog
118. The Man, the Horse, the Ox, and the Dog
119. The Manslayer
120. The Master and His Dogs

The Cat and the Cock

A CAT caught a cock, and pondered how he might find a reasonable excuse for eating him. He accused him of being a nuisance to men by crowing in the night-time and not permitting them to sleep. The cock defended himself by saying that he did this for the benefit of men, that they might rise in time for their labours. The cat replied,
"Although you abound in specious apologies, I shall not remain supperless"; and he made a meal of him.
❖ Beasts do not need excuses for killing and eating others.

The Cat and the Mice

A CERTAIN HOUSE was overrun with mice. A cat, discovering this, made her way into it and began to catch and eat them one by one. Fearing for their lives, the mice kept themselves close in their holes. The cat was no longer able to get at them and perceived that she must tempt them forth by some device. For this purpose she jumped on a peg, and suspending herself from it, pretended to be dead. One of the mice, peeping stealthily out, saw her and said,
"Ah, my good madam, even though you should turn into a meal-bag, we will not come near you."
❖ The cat's purposes are nude and should be allowed to be that way.

The Cat and Lady Love

A CAT fell in love with a handsome young man, and begged Lady Love to change her into the form of a woman. Lady Love agreed to her request and transformed her into a beautiful damsel, so that the youth saw her and loved her, and took her home as his bride.
While the two were reclining in their chamber, Lady Love wishing to discover if the cat in her change of shape had also altered her habits of life, let down a mouse in the middle of the room. The cat, quite forgetting her present condition, started up from the couch and pursued the mouse, wishing to eat it.
Lady Love was much disappointed and again caused her to return to her former shape.
❖ Nature exceeds nurture.

The Eagle and His Captor

AN EAGLE was once captured by a man, who at once clipped his wings and put him into his poultry-yard with the other birds, at which treatment the eagle was weighed down with grief.
Later, another neighbour bought him and allowed his feathers to grow again. The eagle took flight, and pouncing on a hare, brought it at once as an offering to his benefactor.
A fox, seeing this, exclaimed, "Do not cultivate the favour of this man, but of your former owner, lest he should again hunt for you and deprive you a second time of your wings."

The Eagle and the Arrow

AN EAGLE sat on a lofty rock, watching the movements of a hare whom he sought to make his prey. An archer, who saw the eagle from a place of concealment, took an accurate aim and wounded him mortally. The eagle gave one look at the arrow that had entered his heart and saw in that single glance that its feathers had been furnished by himself.
"It is a double grief to me," he exclaimed, "that I should perish by an arrow feathered from my own wings."

The Eagle and the Fox

AN EAGLE and a fox formed an intimate friendship and decided to live near each other. The eagle built her nest in the branches of a tall tree, while the fox crept into the underwood and there produced her young.
Not long after they had agreed on this plan, the eagle, being in want of provision for her young ones, swooped down while the fox was out, seized on one of the little cubs, and feasted herself and her brood. The fox on her return, discovered what had happened, but was less grieved for the death of her young than for her inability to avenge them.
A just retribution, however, quickly fell on the eagle. While hovering near an altar, on which some villagers were sacrificing a goat, she suddenly seized a piece of the flesh, and carried it, along with a burning cinder, to her nest. A strong breeze soon fanned the spark into a flame, and the eaglets, as yet unfledged and helpless, were roasted in their nest and dropped down dead at the bottom of the tree. There, in the sight of the eagle, the fox gobbled them up.

The Eagle and the Jackdaw

AN EAGLE, flying down from his perch on a lofty rock, seized on a lamb and carried him aloft in his talons. A jackdaw, who witnessed the capture of the lamb, was stirred with envy and determined to emulate the strength and flight of the eagle. He flew around with a great whir of his wings and settled on a large ram, with the intention of carrying him off, but his claws became entangled in the ram's fleece and he was not able to release himself, although he fluttered with his feathers as much as he could.
The shepherd, seeing what had happened, ran up and caught him. He at once clipped the jackdaw's wings, and taking him home at night, gave him to his children. On their saying, "Father, what kind of bird is it?" he replied,
"To my certain knowledge he is a daw; but he would like you to think an eagle."

The Eagle and the Kite

AN EAGLE, overwhelmed with sorrow, sat on the branches of a tree in company with a kite.
"Why," said the kite, "do I see you with such a rueful look?"
"I seek," she replied, "a mate suitable for me, and am not able to find one."
"Take me," returned the kite, "I am much stronger than you are."
"Why, are you able to secure the means of living by your plunder?"
"Well, I have often caught and carried away an ostrich in my talons."
The eagle, persuaded by these words, accepted him as her mate. Shortly after the nuptials, the eagle said,
"Fly off and bring me back the ostrich you promised me."
The kite, soaring aloft into the air, brought back the shabbiest possible mouse, stinking from the length of time it had lain about the fields.
"Is this," said the eagle, "the faithful fulfilment of your promise to me?"
The kite replied, "That I might attain your royal hand, there is nothing that I would not have promised, however much I knew that I must fail in the performance."

The Eagle, the Cat, and the Wild Sow

AN EAGLE made her nest at the top of a lofty oak; a cat, having found a convenient hole, moved into the middle of the trunk; and a wild sow, with her young, took shelter in a hollow at its foot. The cat cunningly resolved to destroy this chance-made colony. To carry out her design, she climbed to the nest of the eagle, and said,
"Destruction is preparing for you, and for me too, unfortunately. The wild sow, whom you see daily digging up the earth, wishes to uproot the oak, so she may on its fall seize our families as food for her young."
Having thus frightened the eagle out of her senses, she crept down to the cave of the sow, and said,
"Your children are in great danger; for as soon as you go out with your litter to find food, the eagle is prepared to pounce on one of your little pigs."
Having instilled these fears into the sow, she went and pretended to hide herself in the hollow of the tree. When night came she went forth with silent foot and obtained food for herself and her kittens, but feigning to be afraid, she kept a lookout all through the day. Meanwhile, the eagle, full of fear of the sow, sat still on the branches, and the sow, terrified by the eagle, did not dare to go out from her cave. And thus they both, along with their families, perished from hunger, and afforded ample provision for the cat and her kittens.

The Horse and Groom

A GROOM used to spend whole days in currycombing and rubbing down his Horse, but at the same time stole his oats and sold them for his own profit.
"Alas!" said the horse, "if you really wish me to be in good condition, you should groom me less, and feed me more."

The Horse and His Rider

A HORSE SOLDIER took the utmost pains with his charger. As long as the war lasted, he looked on him as his fellow-helper in all emergencies and fed him carefully with hay and corn. But when the war was over, he only allowed him chaff to eat and made him carry heavy loads of wood, subjecting him to much slavish drudgery and ill-treatment.
War was again proclaimed, however, and when the trumpet summoned him to his standard, the soldier put on his charger its military trappings, and mounted, being clad in his heavy coat of mail. The horse fell down straightway under the weight, no longer equal to the burden, and said to his master,
"You must now go to the war on foot, for you have transformed me from a horse into a donkey; and how can you expect that I can again turn in a moment from a donkey to a horse?"

The Horse and the Stag

AT ONE TIME the horse had the plain entirely to himself. Then a stag intruded into his domain and shared his pasture. The horse, desiring to revenge himself on the stranger, asked a man if he were willing to help him in punishing the stag. The man replied that if the horse would receive a bit in his mouth and agree to carry him, he would contrive effective weapons against the stag.
The horse agreed and allowed the man to mount him. From that hour he found that instead of obtaining revenge on the stag, he had enslaved himself to the service of man.

The Man and His Two Sweethearts

A MIDDLE-AGED MAN, whose hair had begun to turn grey, courted two women at the same time. One of them was young, and the other well advanced in years. The elder woman, ashamed to be courted by a man younger than herself, made a point, whenever her admirer visited her, to pull out some portion of his black hairs. The younger, on the contrary, not wishing to become the wife of an old man, was equally zealous in removing every grey hair she could find.
Thus it came to pass that between them both he very soon found that he had not a hair left on his head.
❖ Those who seek to please everybody please nobody.

The Man and His Wife

A MAN had a wife who made herself hated by all the members of his household. Wishing to find out if she had the same effect on the persons in her father's house, he made some excuse to send her home on a visit to her father. After a short time she returned, and when he asked how she had got on and how the servants had treated her, she replied,
"The herdsmen and shepherds cast on me looks of aversion."
He said,
"If you were disliked by those who go out early in the morning with their flocks and return late in the evening, what must have been felt towards you by those with whom you passed the whole day!"
❖ Straws show how the wind blows.

The Man and the Lion

A MAN and a lion travelled together through the forest. They soon began to boast of their respective superiority to each other in strength and prowess. As they were disputing, they passed a statue carved in stone, which represented "a lion strangled by a man."
The traveller pointed to it and said:
"See there! How strong we are, and how we prevail over even the king of beasts."
The lion replied:
"This statue was made by one of you men. If we lions knew how to erect statues, you would see the man placed under the paw of the lion."
❖ One story is good, till another is told.

The Man and the Mountain-Dweller

A MAN and a mointain-dweller once drank together in token of a bond of alliance being formed between them. One very cold wintry day, as they talked, the man put his fingers to his mouth and blew on them. When the mountain-dweller asked the reason for this, he told him that he did it to warm his hands because they were so cold. Later on in the day they sat down to eat, and the food prepared was quite scalding. The man raised one of the dishes a little towards his mouth and blew in it.
When the mountain-dweller again asked the reason, he said that he did it to cool the meat, which was too hot.
"I can no longer consider you as a friend," said the mountain-dweller, "a fellow who with the same breath blows hot and cold."

The Man Bitten by a Dog

A MAN who had been bitten by a dog went about in quest of someone who might heal him. A friend, meeting him and learning what he wanted, said,
"If you would be cured, take a piece of bread, and dip it in the blood from your wound, and go and give it to the dog that bit you."
The man who had been bitten laughed at this advice and said,
"Why? If I should do so, it would be as if I should beg every dog in the town to bite me."
❖ Benefits bestowed on the evil-disposed increase their means of injuring you.

The Man, the Horse, the Ox, and the Dog

A HORSE, Ox, and Dog, driven to great straits by the cold, sought shelter and protection from man. He received them kindly, lighted a fire, and warmed them. He let the horse make free with his oats, gave the ox an abundance of hay, and fed the dog with meat from his own table.
Grateful for these favours, the animals determined to repay him to the best of their ability. For this purpose, they divided the term of his life between them, and each endowed one portion of it with the qualities which chiefly characterised himself.
The horse chose his earliest years and gave them his own attributes: hence every man is in his youth impetuous, headstrong, and obstinate in maintaining his own opinion.
The ox took under his patronage the next term of life, and therefore man in his middle age is fond of work, devoted to labour, and resolute to amass wealth and to husband his resources.
The end of life was reserved for the dog, wherefore the old man is often snappish, irritable, hard to please, and selfish, tolerant only of his own household, but averse to strangers and to all who do not administer to his comfort or to his necessities.

The Manslayer

A MAN committed a murder, and was pursued by the relations of the man whom he murdered. On his reaching the river Nile he saw a lion on its bank and being fearfully afraid, climbed up a tree. He found a serpent in the upper branches of the tree, and again being greatly alarmed, he threw himself into the river, where a crocodile caught him and ate him. Thus the earth, the air, and the water alike refused shelter to a murderer.

The Master and His Dogs

A CERTAIN MAN, detained by a storm in his country house, first of all killed his sheep, and then his goats, for the maintenance of his household. The storm still continuing, he was obliged to slaughter his yoke oxen for food. On seeing this, his dogs took counsel together, and said,
"It is time for us to be off, for if the master spare not his oxen, who work for his gain, how can we expect him to spare us?"
❖ He is not to be trusted as a friend who mistreats his own family.

121. The Old Man and Death
122. The Old Woman and the Physician
123. The Old Woman and the Wine-Jar
124. The Quack Frog
125. The Tortoise and the Eagle
126. The Traveller and Fortune
127. The Traveller and His Dog
128. The Travellers and the Plane-Tree
129. The Two Travellers and the Axe
130. The Astronomer
131. The Charger and the Miller
132. The Cock and the Jewel
133. The Monkey and the Camel
134. The Monkey and the Dolphin
135. The Monkey and the Fishermen
136. The Monkeys and Their Mother
137. The Dancing Monkeys
138. The Milk-Woman and Her Pail
139. The Mice in Council
140. The Two Soldiers and the Robber

The Old Man and Death

AN OLD MAN was employed in cutting wood in the forest, and, in carrying the faggots to the city for sale one day, became very wearied with his long journey. He sat down by the wayside, and throwing down his load, besought Death to come.
Death at once appeared in answer to his summons and asked for what reason he had called him. The old man hurriedly replied,
"That, lifting up the load, you may place it again on my shoulders."

The Old Woman and the Physician

AN OLD WOMAN having lost the use of her eyes, called in a physician to heal them, and made this bargain with him in the presence of witnesses: that if he should cure her blindness, he should receive from her a sum of money; but if her infirmity remained, she should give him nothing. This agreement being made, the physician, time after time, applied his salve to her eyes, and on every visit took something away, stealing all her property little by little. And when he had got all she had, he healed her and demanded the promised payment.
The old woman, when she recovered her sight and saw none of her goods in her house, would give him nothing. The physician insisted on his claim, and. as she still refused, summoned her before the judge. The old woman, standing up in the court, argued:
"This man here speaks the truth in what he says; for I did promise to give him a sum of money if I should recover my sight: but if I continued blind, I was to give him nothing. Now he declares that I am healed. I on the contrary affirm that I am still blind; for when I lost the use of my eyes, I saw in my house various chattels and valuable goods: but now, though he swears I am cured of my blindness, I am not able to see a single thing in it."

The Old Woman and the Wine-Jar

AN OLD WOMAN found an empty jar which had lately been full of prime old wine and which still retained the fragrant smell of its former contents. She greedily placed it several times to her nose, and drawing it backwards and forwards said,
"O most delicious! How nice must the wine itself have been, when it leaves behind in the very vessel which contained it so sweet a perfume!"
❖ The memory of a good deed lives.

The Quack Frog

A FROG once on a time came forth from his home in the marsh and proclaimed to all the beasts that he was a learned physician, skilled in the use of drugs and able to heal all diseases.
A fox asked him,
"How can you pretend to prescribe for others, when you are unable to heal your own lame gait and wrinkled skin?"

The Tortoise and the Eagle

A TORTOISE, lazily basking in the sun, complained to the sea-birds of her hard fate, that no one would teach her to fly. An Eagle, hovering near, heard her lamentation and demanded what reward she would give him if he would take her aloft and float her in the air.
"I will give you," she said, "all the riches of the red Sea."
"I will teach you to fly then," said the eagle; and taking her up in his talons he carried her almost to the clouds suddenly he let her go, and she fell on a lofty mountain, dashing her shell to pieces.
The tortoise exclaimed in the moment of death:
"I have deserved my present fate; for what had I to do with wings and clouds, who can with difficulty move about on the earth?"
❖ If men had all they wished, they would be often ruined.

The Traveller and Fortune

A TRAVELLER wearied from a long journey lay down, overcome with fatigue, on the very brink of a deep well. Just as he was about to fall into the water, Dame fortune, it is said, appeared to him and waking him from his slumber thus addressed him:
"Good Sir, pray wake up: for if you fall into the well, the blame will be thrown on me, and I shall get an ill name among mortals; for I find that men are sure to impute their calamities to me, however much by their own folly they have really brought them on themselves."
❖ Everyone hopes more or less to be the master of his own fate.

The Traveller and His Dog

A TRAVELLER about to set out on a journey saw his dog stand at the door stretching himself. He asked him sharply:
"Why do you stand there gaping? Everything is ready but you, so come with me instantly."
The dog, wagging his tail, replied:
"Master! I am quite ready; it is you for whom I am waiting."
❖ The loiterer often blames delay on his more active friend.1

The Travellers and the Plane-Tree

TWO TRAVELLERS, worn out by the heat of the summer's sun, laid themselves down at noon under the wide-spreading branches of a plane-tree. As they rested under its shade, one of the travellers said to the other,
"What a singularly useless tree is the plane! It bears no fruit, and is not of the least service to man."
The plane-tree, interrupting him, said,
"You ungrateful fellows! Do you, while receiving benefits from me and resting under my shade, dare to describe me as useless, and unprofitable?"
❖ Some men underrate their best blessings.

The Two Travellers and the Axe

TWO MEN were journeying together. One of them picked up an axe that lay on the path, and said,
"I have found an axe."
"Nay, my friend," replied the other, "do not say 'I,' but 'we' have found an axe."
They had not gone far before they saw the owner of the axe pursuing them, and he who had picked up the axe said,
"We are undone."
"Nay," replied the other, "keep to your first mode of speech, my friend; what you thought right then, think right now. Say 'I,' not 'We' are undone."
He who shares the danger ought to share the prize.

The Astronomer

AN ASTRONOMER used to go out at night to observe the stars. One evening, as he wandered through the suburbs with his whole attention fixed on the sky, he fell accidentally into a deep well. While he lamented and bewailed his sores and bruises, and cried loudly for help, a neighbour ran to the well, and learning what had happened said:
"Listen, old fellow, why, in striving to pry into what is in heaven, don't you manage to see what is on earth?"

The Charger and the Miller

A CHARGER, feeling the infirmities of age, was sent to work in a mill instead of going out to battle. But when he was compelled to grind instead of serving in the wars, he bewailed his change of fortune and called to mind his former state, saying,
"Ah, miller, I had indeed to go campaigning before, but I was barbed from counter to tail, and a man went along to groom me; and now I cannot understand what ailed me to prefer the mill before the battle."
"Forbear," said the miller to him, "harping on what was of yore, for it is the common lot of mortals to sustain the ups and downs of fortune."

The Cock and the Jewel

A COCK, scratching for food for himself and his hens, found a precious stone and exclaimed:
"If your owner had found you, and not I, he would have taken you up, and have set you in your first estate; but I have found you for no purpose. I would rather have one barleycorn than all the jewels in the world."

The Monkey and the Camel

THE BEASTS of the forest gave a splendid entertainment at which the monkey stood up and danced. Having vastly delighted the assembly, he sat down amidst universal applause.
The camel, envious of the praises bestowed on the monkey and desiring to divert to himself the favour of the guests, proposed to stand up in his turn and dance for their amusement. He moved about in so utterly ridiculous a manner that the beasts, in a fit of indignation, set on him with clubs and drove him out of the assembly.
❖ It is absurd to ape our betters.

The Monkey and the Dolphin

A SAILOR, bound on a long voyage, took with him a monkey to amuse him while on shipboard. As he sailed off the coast of Greece, a violent tempest arose in which the ship was wrecked and he, his monkey, and all the crew were obliged to swim for their lives.
A dolphin saw the monkey contending with the waves, and supposing him to be a man (whom he is always said to befriend), came and placed himself under him, to convey him on his back in safety to the shore.
When the dolphin arrived with his burden in sight of land not far from Athens, he asked the monkey if he were an Athenian. The latter replied that he was, and that he was descended from one of the most noble families in that city. The dolphin then asked if he knew the Piraeus (the famous harbour of Athens). Supposing that a man was meant, the monkey answered that he knew him very well and that he was an intimate friend.
The dolphin, indignant at these falsehoods, dipped the monkey under the water and drowned him.

The Monkey and the Fishermen

A MONKEY perched on a lofty tree saw some fishermen casting their nets into a river, and narrowly watched their proceedings. The fishermen after a while gave up fishing, and on going home to dinner left their nets on the bank. The monkey, who is the most imitative of animals, descended from the treetop and endeavoured to do as they had done. Having handled the net, he threw it into the river, but became tangled in the meshes and drowned.
With his last breath he said to himself,
"I deserved what I got; for what business had I who had never handled a net to try and catch fish?"

The Monkeys and Their Mother

THE MONKEY, it is said, has two young ones at each birth. The mother fondles one and nurtures it with the greatest affection and care, but hates and neglects the other.
It happened once that the young one which was caressed and loved was smothered by the too great affection of the mother, while the despised one was nurtured and reared in spite of the neglect to which it was exposed.
❖ The best intentions will not always ensure success.

The Dancing Monkeys

A PRINCE had some monkeys trained to dance. Being naturally great mimics of men's actions, they showed themselves most apt pupils, and when arrayed in their rich clothes and masks, they danced as well as any of the courtiers. The spectacle was often repeated with great applause, till on one occasion a courtier, bent on mischief, took from his pocket a handful of nuts and threw them on the stage.
The monkeys at the sight of the nuts forgot their dancing and became (as indeed they were) monkeys instead of actors. Pulling off their masks and tearing their robes, they fought with one another for the nuts. The dancing spectacle thus came to an end amidst the laughter and ridicule of the audience.

The Milk-Woman and Her Pail

A FARMER'S daughter was carrying her pail of milk from the field to the farmhouse, when she fell a-musing.
"The money for which this milk will be sold, will buy at least three hundred eggs. The eggs, allowing for all mishaps, will produce two hundred and fifty chickens. The chickens will become ready for the market when poultry will fetch the highest price, so that by the end of the year I shall have money enough from my share to buy a new gown. In this dress I will go to the Christmas parties, where all the young fellows will propose to me, but I will toss my head and refuse them every one."
At this moment she tossed her head in unison with her thoughts, when down fell the milk pail to the ground, and all her imaginary schemes perished in a moment.
❖ Don't count your chicken before they are hatched. *

The Mice in Council

THE MICE summoned a council to decide how they might best devise means of warning themselves of the approach of their great enemy the cat. Among the many plans suggested, the one that found most favour was the proposal to tie a bell to the neck of the cat, so that the mice, being warned by the sound of the tinkling, might run away and hide themselves in their holes at his approach.
But when the mice further debated who among them should thus "bell the cat," there was no one found to do it.

The Two Soldiers and the Robber

TWO SOLDIERS travelling together were set on by a robber. The one fled away; the other stood his ground and defended himself with his stout right hand. The robber being slain, the timid companion ran up and drew his sword, and then, throwing back his travelling cloak said,
"I will at him, and I will take care he shall learn whom he has attacked."
On this, he who had fought with the robber made answer,
"I only wish that you had helped me just now, even if it had been only with those words, for I should have been the more encouraged, believing them to be true; but now put up your sword in its sheath and hold your equally useless tongue, till you can deceive others who do not know you. I, indeed, who have experienced with what speed you run away, know right well that no dependence can be placed on your valour."


141. The Fir-Tree and the Bramble
142. The Gnat and the Bull
143. The Gnat and the Lion
144. The Kid and the Wolf
145. The Kid and the Wolf
146. The Three Bulls and the Lion
147. The Man Who Promised the Impossible
148. The Miser
149. The Bald Knight
150. The Bee and Sir Success
151. The Crab and Its Mother
152. The Crab and the Fox
153. The Goods and the Ills
154. The Hare and the Hound
155. The Hare and the Tortoise
156. The Hares and the Foxes
157. The Hares and the Frogs
158. The Hares and the Lions
159. The Huntsman and the Fisherman
160. The Hen and the Swallow

The Fir-Tree and the Bramble

A FIR-TREE said boastingly to the bramble, "You are useful for nothing at all; while I am everywhere used for roofs and houses."
The bramble answered: "You poor creature, if you would only call to mind the axes and saws which are about to hew you down, you would have reason to wish that you had grown up a bramble, not a fir-tree."
❖ Better poverty without care, than riches with.

The Gnat and the Bull

A GNAT settled on the horn of a bull, and sat there a long time. Just as he was about to fly off, he made a buzzing noise, and asked of the bull if he would like him to go.
The bull replied, "I did not know you had come, and I shall not miss you when you go away."
❖ Some men are of more consequence in their own eyes than in the eyes of their neighbours.

The Gnat and the Lion

A GNAT came and said to a lion, "I don't in the least fear you, nor are you stronger than I am. For in what does your strength consist? You can scratch with your claws and bite with your teeth an a woman in her quarrels. I repeat that I am altogether more powerful than you; and if you doubt it, let us fight and see who will conquer."
The gnat, having sounded his horn, fastened himself on the lion and stung him on the nostrils and the parts of the face devoid of hair. While trying to crush him, the lion tore himself with his claws, till he punished himself severely.
The gnat thus prevailed over the lion, and, buzzing about in a song of triumph, flew away. But shortly afterwards he became entangled in the meshes of a cobweb and was eaten by a spider. He greatly lamented his fate, saying,
"Woe is me! that I, who can wage war successfully with the hugest beasts, should perish myself from this spider, the most inconsiderable of insects!"

The Kid and the Wolf

A KID standing on the roof of a house, out of harm's way, saw a wolf passing by and at once began to taunt and revile him. The wolf, looking up, said,
"Well hello, I hear you: yet it is not you who mock me, but the roof that you are standing on."
❖ Time and place often give the advantage to the weak over the strong.

The Kid and the Wolf

A KID, returning without protection from the pasture, was pursued by a wolf. Seeing he could not escape, he turned round, and said:
"I know, Friend Wolf, that I must be your prey, but before I die I would ask of you one favour you will play me a tune to which I may dance."
The wolf complied, and while he was piping and the kid was dancing, some hounds hearing the sound ran up and began chasing the wolf. Turning to the kid, he said,
"It is just what I deserve; for I, who am only a butcher, should not have turned piper to please you."

Three Bulls and the Lion

THREE BULLS for a long time pastured together. A lion lay in ambush in the hope of making them his prey, but was afraid to attack them while they kept together. Having at last by guileful speeches succeeded in separating them, he attacked them without fear as they fed alone, and feasted on them one by one at his own leisure.
❖ In union is strength sometimes.

The Man Who Promised the Impossible

A POOR man was very ill, and not expected to live. As the doctors were about to give up hope for him, he appealed to the Lords, promising to offer up to them a hundred oxen or less - and more gifts too - if only he recovered.
The man's wife, who was at his side, asked him:
"And where are you going to get the money to pay for all that?"
The man told her:
"Do you think I might get better so that the Lords can call me to account?"
❖ Men readily make promises which in reality they have no intention of keeping.

The Miser

A MISER sold all that he had and bought a lump of gold, which he buried in a hole in the ground by the side of an old wall and went to look at daily.
One of his workmen observed his frequent visits to the spot and decided to watch his movements. He soon discovered the secret of the hidden treasure, and digging down, came to the lump of gold, and stole it.
The miser, on his next visit, found the hole empty and began to tear his hair and to make loud lamentations. A neighbour, seeing him overcome with grief and learning the cause, said,
"Oh, do not grieve so; but go and take a stone, and place it in the hole, and fancy that the gold is still lying there. It will do you quite the same service; for when the gold was there, you had it not, as you did not make the slightest use of it."

The Bald Knight

A BALD KNIGHT who wore a wig, went out to hunt. A sudden puff of wind blew off his hat and wig, at which a loud laugh rang forth from his companions. He pulled up his horse, and with great glee joined in the joke by saying,
"What a marvel it is that hairs which are not mine should fly from me, when they have forsaken even the man on whose head they grew."
❖ Don't spend too much on a whig; its hair isn't yours anyway.
❖ Bald men don't really need better whig glue, but to renounce things that make discerning persons laugh at them.

The Bee and Sir Success

A BEE - the queen of the hive - ascended to the House of Lords to present Sir Success some honey fresh from her combs. Sir Success, delighted with the offering of honey, promised to give whatever she should ask. She therefore said,
"Please give me a sting, that if any mortal shall approach to take my honey, I may kill him."
Sir Success was much displeased, for he loved mankind, but could not refuse the request because of his promise. He thus answered the bee:
"You shall have your request, but it will be at the peril of your own life. For if you use your sting, it shall remain in the wound you make, and then you will die from the loss of it."
❖ Evil wishes, like chickens, come home to roost.

The Crab and Its Mother

A CRAB said to her son, "Why do you walk so one-sided, my child? It is far more becoming to go straight forward."
The young crab replied:
"Quite true, dear Mother; and if you will show me the straight way, I will promise to walk in it."
The mother tried in vain, and submitted without remonstrance to the reproof of her child.
❖ Example is more powerful than precept.

The Crab and the Fox

A CRAB, forsaking the seashore, chose a neighbouring green meadow as its feeding ground. A fox came across him, and being very hungry ate him up. Just as he was on the point of being eaten, the crab said,
"I well deserve my fate, for what business had I on the land, when by my nature and habits I am only adapted for the sea?"
❖ Contentment with our lot is an element of happiness.

The Goods and the Ills

ALL the goods were once driven out by the ills from that common share which they each had in the affairs of mankind; for the ills by reason of their numbers had prevailed to possess the earth.
The goods wafted themselves to heaven and asked for a righteous vengeance on their persecutors. They begged Sir Success that they might no longer be associated with the ills, as they had nothing in common and could not live together, but were engaged in unceasing warfare; and that an indissoluble law might be laid down for their future protection.
Sir Success granted their request and decreed that henceforth the ills should visit the earth in company with each other, but that the goods should one by one enter the habitations of men.
Hence it arises that ills abound, for they come not one by one, but in troops, and by no means singly: while the goods proceed from Sir Success, and are given, not alike to all, but singly, and separately; and one by one to those who are able to discern them.
❖ What goods are, is detectable by the vision of the heart.

The Hare and the Hound

A HOUND started a hare from his lair, but after a long run, gave up the chase. A goat-herd seeing him stop, mocked him, saying "The little one is the best runner of the two."
The hound replied,
"You do not see the difference between us: I was only running for a dinner, but he for his life."
❖ Unpopular (hound) reforms may be most needed.

The Hare and the Tortoise

A HARE one day ridiculed the short feet and slow pace of the tortoise, who replied, laughing:
"Though you be swift as the wind, I will beat you in a race."
The hare, believing her assertion to be simply impossible, assented to the proposal; and they agreed that the fox should choose the course and fix the goal.
On the day appointed for the race the two started together. The tortoise never for a moment stopped, but went on with a slow but steady pace straight to the end of the course. The hare, lying down by the wayside, fell fast asleep. At last waking up, and moving as fast as he could, he saw the tortoise had reached the goal, and was comfortably dozing after her fatigue.
❖ Slow but steady wins the race.

The Hares and the Foxes

THE HARES waged war with the eagles, and called on the foxes to help them. They replied,
"We would willingly have helped you, if we had not known who you were, and with whom you were fighting."
❖ Count the cost before you commit yourselves.

The Hares and the Frogs

THE HARES, oppressed by their own exceeding timidity and weary of the perpetual alarm to which they were exposed, with one accord determined to put an end to themselves and their troubles by jumping from a lofty precipice into a deep lake below. As they scampered off in large numbers to carry out their resolve, the frogs lying on the banks of the lake heard the noise of their feet and rushed helter-skelter to the deep water for safety.
On seeing the rapid disappearance of the frogs, one of the hares cried out to his companions:
"Stay, my friends, do not do as you intended; for you now see that there are creatures who are still more timid than ourselves."

The Hares and the Lions

THE HARES harangued the assembly, and argued that all should be equal.
The lions made this reply:
"Your words, hares, are good; but they lack both claws and teeth such as we have."

The Huntsman and the Fisherman

A HUNTSMAN, returning with his dogs from the field, fell in by chance with a fisherman who was bringing home a basket well laden with fish. The huntsman wished to have the fish, and their owner experienced an equal longing for the contents of the game-bag. They quickly agreed to exchange the produce of their day's sport.
Each was so well pleased with his bargain that they made for some time the same exchange day after day. Finally a neighbour said to them,
"If you go on in this way, you will soon destroy by frequent use the pleasure of your exchange, and each will again wish to retain the fruits of his own sport."
❖ Abstain and enjoy.

The Hen and the Swallow

A HEN finding the eggs of a viper and carefully keeping them warm, nourished them into life. A swallow, observing what she had done, said,
"You silly creature! Why have you hatched these vipers which, when they shall have grown, will inflict injury on all, starting with yourself?"
❖ A great question could deserve a top answer.

161. The Boy and the Hazelnuts
162. The Boy and the Nettles
163. The Boy Bathing
164. The Boy Hunting Locusts
165. The Boys and the Frogs
166. The Dove and the Crow
167. The Flies and the Honey-Pot
168. The Fly and the Draught-Mule
169. The Fox and the Bramble
170. Friend or Foe?
171. The Fox and the Crane
172. The Fox and the Crow
173. A Lesson for Fools
174. The Fox and the Goat
175. The Fox and the Hedgehog
176. The Fox and the Leopard
177. The Fox and the Lion
178. The Fox and the Lion
179. The Fox and the Mask
180. The Fox and the Monkey
181. Fools Die for Want of Wisdom
182. The Fox and the Monkey
183. Dead men tell no tales
184. The Fox and the Woodcutter
185. Actions Speak Louder than Words

The Boy and the Hazelnuts

A BOY put his hand into a pitcher full of hazelnuts. He grasped as many as he could possibly hold, but when he tried to pull out his hand, he was prevented from doing so by the neck of the pitcher. Unwilling to lose his hazelnuts, and yet unable to withdraw his hand, he burst into tears and bitterly lamented his disappointment. A bystander said to him,
"Be satisfied with half the amount, and you will readily draw out your hand."
❖ Do not attempt too much at once.
❖ Life is a long lesson in humility [American].

The Boy and the Nettles

A BOY was stung by a nettle. He ran home and told his mother, saying,
"Although it hurts me very much, I only touched it gently."
"That was just why it stung you," said his mother. "The next time you touch a nettle, grasp it boldly, and it will be soft as silk to your hand, and not in the least hurt you."
❖ Better wear shoes than walk barefoot among nettles, no matter what you mother says in the matter.
❖ He that makes himself a sheep (sheepish) due to bad advice, may suffer undeservedly.

The Boy Bathing

A BOY bathing in a river was in danger of being drowned. He called out to a passing traveller for help, but instead of holding out a helping hand, the man stood by unconcernedly, and scolded the boy for his imprudence.
"Oh, sir!" cried the youth, "pray help me now and scold me afterwards."
❖ Counsel without help seems useless.

The Boy Hunting Locusts

A BOY was hunting for locusts. He had caught a goodly number, when he saw a scorpion, and mistaking him for a locust, reached out his hand to take him.
The scorpion, showing his sting, said,
"If you had but touched me, my friend, you would have lost me, and all your locusts too!"
❖ It is better to have luck with you than to lose everything.

The Boys and the Frogs

SOME BOYS, playing near a pond, saw a number of frogs in the water and began to pelt them with stones. They killed several of them, when one of the frogs, lifting his head out of the water, cried out,
"Pray stop, my boys: what is sport to you, is death to us."

The Dove and the Crow

A DOVE shut up in a cage was boasting of the large number of young ones which she had hatched. A crow hearing her, said:
"My good friend, cease from this unseasonable boasting. The larger the number of your family, the greater your cause of sorrow, in seeing them shut up in this prison-house."

The Flies and the Honey-Pot

A NUMBER of flies were attracted to a jar of honey which had been overturned in a housekeeper's room, and placing their feet in it, ate greedily. Their feet, however, became so smeared with the honey that they could not use their wings, nor release themselves, and were suffocated. Just as they were expiring, they exclaimed,
"Foolish creatures that we are, for the sake of a little pleasure we have destroyed ourselves."
❖ Pleasure bought with pains, hurts.

The Fly and the Draught-Mule

A FLY sat on the axle-tree of a chariot, and addressing the draught-mule said,
"How slow you are! Why do you not go faster? See if I don't prick your neck with my sting."
The draught-mule replied,
"I don't heed your threats; I only care for him who sits above you, and who quickens my pace with his whip, or holds me back with the reins. Away, therefore, with your insolence, for I know well when to go fast, and when to go slow."

The Fox and the Bramble

A FOX was mounting a hedge when he lost his footing and caught hold of a bramble to save himself. Having pricked and grievously tom the soles of his feet, he accused the bramble because, when he had fled to her for assistance, she had used him worse than the hedge itself. The bramble, interrupting him, said,
"But you really must have been out of your senses to fasten yourself on me, who am myself always used to fasten on others."

Friend or Foe?
A fox slipped in climbing a fence. To save himself from falling he clutched at a brier-bush. The thorns made his paws bleed, and in his pain he cried out: "Oh dear! I turned to you for help and you have made me worse off than I was before."
"Yes, my friend!" said the brier. "You made a bad mistake when you tried to lay hold of me. I lay hold of everyone myself."
❖ The incident illustrates the folly of those who run for aid to people whose nature it is to hurt rather than to help.

The Fox and the Crane

A FOX invited a crane to supper and provided nothing for his entertainment but some soup made of pulse, which was poured out into a broad flat stone dish. The soup fell out of the long bill of the crane at every mouthful, and his vexation at not being able to eat afforded the fox much amusement. The crane, in his turn, asked the fox to sup with him, and set before her a flagon with a long narrow mouth, so that he could easily insert his neck and enjoy its contents at his leisure. The fox, unable even to taste it, met with a fitting requital, after the fashion of her own hospitality.

The Fox and the Crow

A CROW having stolen a bit of meat, perched in a tree and held it in her beak. A fox, seeing this, longed to possess the meat himself, and by a wily stratagem succeeded.
"How handsome is the crow," he exclaimed, in the beauty of her shape and in the fairness of her complexion! Oh, if her voice were only equal to her beauty, she would deservedly be considered the queen of Birds!"
This he said deceitfully; but the crow, anxious to refute the reflection cast on her voice, set up a loud caw and dropped the flesh. The fox quickly picked it up, and thus addressed the crow:
"My good crow, your voice is right enough, but your wit is wanting."

A Lesson for Fools

A crow sat in a tree holding in his beak a piece of meat that he had stolen. A fox which saw him determined to get the meat. It stood under the tree and began to tell the crow what a beautiful big bird he was. He ought to be king of all the birds, the fox said; and he would undoubtedly have been made king, if only he had a voice as well. The crow was so anxious to prove that he had a voice, that he dropped the meat and croaked for all he was worth. Up ran the fox, snapped up the meat, and said to him:
"If you added brains to all your other qualifications, you would make an ideal king."

The Fox and the Goat

A FOX one day fell into a deep well and could not get out. Along came a thirsty goat, and seeing the fox, asked if the water was good. Hiding his sad plight under a merry guise, the fox sang the praises of the water, saying it was excellent beyond measure, and encouraging him to descend. The goat, mindful only of his thirst, thoughtlessly jumped down. But just as he drank, the fox informed him of the difficulty they were both in and suggested how they were to get up again.
"If," said he, "you will place your forefeet on the wall and bend your head, I will run up your back and escape, and will help you out afterwards."
The goat readily complied and the fox leaped on his back. Steadying himself with the goat's horns, he safely reached the mouth of the well and made off as fast as he could.
When the goat upbraided him for breaking his promise, he turned around and cried out,
"You foolish old fellow! If you had as many brains in your head as you have hairs in your beard, you would never have gone down without thinking how you were going to get up; nor have exposed yourself to dangers from which you had no means of escape."
❖ Look before you leap.
❖ A sensible man never embarks on an enterprise till he can see his way clear to the end of it.

The Fox and the Hedgehog

A FOX swimming across a rapid river was carried by the force of the current into a very deep ravine, where he lay for a long time very much bruised, sick, and unable to move. A swarm of hungry blood-sucking flies settled on him. A Hedgehog, passing by, saw his anguish and asked if he should drive away the flies that were tormenting him.
"By no means," replied the fox; "pray do not molest them."
"How is this?" said the hedgehog; "do you not want to be rid of them?"
"No," returned the fox, "for these flies which you see are full of blood, and sting me but little, and if you rid me of these which are already satiated, others more hungry will come in their place, and will drink up all the blood I have left."

The Fox and the Leopard

THE FOX and the leopard disputed which was the more beautiful of the two. The leopard exhibited one by one the various spots which decorated his skin. But the fox, interrupting him, said,
"And how much more beautiful than you am I, who am decorated, not in body, but in mind."

The Fox and the Lion

WHEN A FOX who had never yet seen a lion, fell in with him by chance for the first time in the forest, he was so frightened that he nearly died with fear. On meeting him for the second time, he was still much alarmed, but not to the same extent as at first. On seeing him the third time, he so increased in boldness that he went up to him and commenced a familiar conversation with him.
❖ Acquaintance softens prejudices.

The Fox and the Lion

A FOX saw a lion confined in a cage, and standing near him, bitterly reviled him. The lion said to the fox,
"It is not you who revile me; but this mischance which has befallen me."

The Fox and the Mask

A FOX entered the house of an actor and rummaged through all his properties. Among other things he found a mask, an admirable imitation of a human head. He placed his paws on it and said,
"What a beautiful head! Yet it is of no value, as it entirely lacks brains."
❖ Some men of impressive physical appearance are deficient in intellect.

The Fox and the Monkey

A MONKEY once danced in an assembly of the beasts, and so pleased them all by his performance that they elected him their king. A fox, envying him the honour, discovered a piece of meat lying in a trap, and leading the monkey to the place where it was, said that she had found a store, but had not used it e had kept it for him as treasure trove of his kingdom, and counselled him to lay hold of it. The monkey drew near carelessly and was caught in the trap; and on his accusing the fox of purposely leading him into the snare, she replied,
"Monkey, and are you, with such a mind as yours, going to be king over the beasts?"

Fools Die for Want of Wisdom

A monkey made a great impression by dancing before an assembly of animals, who elected him their king. The fox was jealous. Noticing a snare with a piece of meat in it, he took the monkey to it and said:
"Here is a choice titbit that I have found. Instead of eating it myself I have kept it for you as a perquisite of your royal office. So take it."
The monkey went at it carelessly and was caught in the snare. When he accused the fox of laying a trap for him, the fox replied: "Fancy a fool like you, friend monkey, being king of the animals!"
❖ People who attempt things without due consideration suffer for it and get laughed at into the bargain.

The Fox and the Monkey

A FOX and a monkey were travelling together on the same road. As they journeyed, they passed through a cemetery full of monuments.
"All these monuments which you see," said the monkey, "are erected in honour of my ancestors, who were in their day freedmen and citizens of great renown."
The fox replied, "You have chosen a most appropriate subject for your falsehoods, as I am sure none of your ancestors will be able to contradict you."
❖ A false tale often betrays itself.

Dead men tell no tales

A fox and a monkey, as they journeyed together, disputed at great length about the nobility of their lineage. When they reached a certain place on the road, the monkey fixed his gaze on it and uttered a groan. The fox asked what was wrong with him. The monkey pointed to some tombs that stood there.
"Don't you expect me to mourn," he said, "when I behold the sepulchres of the slaves and freedmen of my ancestors?"
"Lie away to your heart's content," answered the fox. "They won't any of them rise up to contradict you."
❖ Certain impostors never boast more loudly than when there is no one to expose them.

The Fox and the Woodcutter

A FOX, running before the hounds, came across a woodcutter felling an oak and begged him to show him a safe hiding-place. The woodcutter advised him to take shelter in his own hut, so the fox crept in and hid himself in a corner. The huntsman soon came up with his hounds and asked of the woodcutter if he had seen the fox. He declared that he had not seen him, and yet pointed, all the time he was speaking, to the hut where the fox lay hidden. The huntsman took no notice of the signs, but believing his word, hastened forward in the chase. As soon as they were well away, the fox departed without taking any notice of the woodcutter: whereon he called to him and reproached him, saying,
"You ungrateful fellow, you owe your life to me, and yet you leave me without a word of thanks."
The fox replied,
"Indeed, I should have thanked you fervently if your deeds had been as good as your words, and if your hands had not been traitors to your speech."

Actions Speak Louder than Words

A fox was being chased by huntsmen and begged a woodcutter whom he saw to hide him. The man told him to go into his hut. Soon afterwards the huntsmen arrived and asked if he had seen a fox pass that way. He answered "No" - but as he spoke he jerked a thumb towards the place where the fox was hidden. However they believed his statement and did not take the hint. When the fox saw they had gone he came out and made off without speaking. The woodsman reproached him for not even saying a word of acknowledgement for his deliverance.
"I would have thanked you," the fox called back, "if your actions and your character agreed with your words."
❖ There are those who make public profession of virtue but behave like rogues.

186. The Fox Who Had Lost His Tail
187. The Herdsman and the Lost Bull
188. The Hunter and the Horseman
189. The Hunter and the Woodman
190. The Mountain in Labour
191. The Owl and the Birds
192. The Peacock and Lady Success
193. The Peacock and the Crane
194. The Peasant and the Apple-Tree
195. The Oxen and the Axle-Trees
196. The Oxen and the Butchers
197. The Philosopher, the Ants, and Mercury
198. The Serpent and the Eagle
199. The Wild Boar and the Fox
200. The Wasp and the Snake
201. The Wasps, the Partridges, and the Farmer
202. The Oak and the Reeds
203. The Oak and the Woodcutters
204. The Oaks and Sir Success
205. The Panther and the Shepherds

The Fox Who Had Lost His Tail

A FOX caught in a trap escaped, but in so doing lost his tail. Thereafter, feeling his life a burden from the shame and ridicule to which he was exposed, he schemed to convince all the other Foxes that being tailless was much more attractive, thus making up for his own deprivation. He assembled a good many Foxes and publicly advised them to cut off their tails, saying that they would not only look much better without them, but that they would get rid of the weight of the brush, which was a very great inconvenience. One of them interrupting him said,
"If you had not yourself lost your tail, my friend, you would not thus counsel us."
❖ The tailless stand out from the crowd or will be overlooked.
Cut off your tails to save my face!
A fox who had lost his tail in a trap was so ashamed of the disfigurement that he felt life was not worth living. So he decided to persuade all the other foxes to maim themselves in the same way; then, he thought, his own loss would not be so conspicuous. He collected them all and advised them to cut off their tails. A tail, he said, was merely a superfluous appendage, ugly to look at and heavy to carry. But one of the others answered: "Look here! You only give us this advice because it suits your own book."
❖ This tale satirises those who offer advice to their neighbours not out of benevolence but from self-interest.

The Herdsman and the Lost Bull

A HERDSMAN tending his flock in a forest lost a bull-calf from the fold. After a long and fruitless search, he made a vow that, if he could only discover the thief who had stolen the calf, he would offer a lamb in sacrifice to Sir Transporter, Pan, and the guardian deities of the forest. Not long afterwards, as he ascended a small hillock, he saw at its foot a lion feeding on the calf. Terrified at the sight, he lifted his eyes and his hands to heaven, and said:
"Just now I vowed to offer a lamb to the guardian Deities of the forest if I could only find out who had robbed me; but now that I have discovered the thief, I would willingly add a full-grown Bull to the calf I have lost, if I may only secure my own escape from him in safety."
❖ Great things declared are sham when the real need is to escape.

The Hunter and the Horseman

A CERTAIN HUNTER, having snared a hare, placed it on his shoulders and set out homewards. On his way he met a man on horseback who begged the hare of him, under the pretence of purchasing it. However, when the horseman got the hare, he rode off as fast as he could. The hunter ran after him, as if he was sure of overtaking him, but the horseman increased more and more the distance between them. The hunter, sorely against his will, called out to him and said,
"Get along with you! for I will now make you a present of the hare."
❖ One has to take advantage of the time to rest too.
❖ There is a time of calm approaching, when that works best.

The Hunter and the Woodman

A HUNTER, not very bold, was searching for the tracks of a lion. He asked a man felling oaks in the forest if he had seen any marks of his footsteps or knew where his lair was.
"I will," said the man, "at once show you the lion himself."
The hunter, turning very pale and chattering with his teeth from fear, replied,
"No, thank you. I did not ask that; it is his track only I am in search of, not the lion himself."
❖ The hero is brave in deeds as well as words.

The Mountain in Labour

A MOUNTAIN was once greatly agitated. Loud groans and noises were heard, and crowds of people came from all parts to see what was the matter. While they were assembled in anxious expectation of some terrible calamity, out came a mouse.
❖ Don't make much ado about nothing.

The Owl and the Birds

AN OWL, in her wisdom, counselled the birds that when the acorn first began to sprout, to pull it all up out of the ground and not allow it to grow. She said acorns would produce mistletoe, from which an irremediable poison, the bird-lime, would be extracted and by which they would be captured. The owl next advised them to pluck up the seed of the flax, which men had sown, as it was a plant which boded no good to them. And, lastly, the owl, seeing an archer approach, predicted that this man, being on foot, would contrive darts armed with feathers which would fly faster than the wings of the birds themselves. The birds gave no credence to these warning words, but considered the owl to be beside herself and said that she was mad. But afterwards, finding her words were true, they wondered at her knowledge and deemed her to be the wisest of birds. Hence it is that when she appears they look to her as knowing all things, while she no longer gives them advice, but in solitude laments their past folly.
❖ Those who are much ahead of others risk being called insane.

The Peacock and Lady Success

THE PEACOCK made complaint to Lady Success that, while the nightingale pleased every ear with his song, he himself no sooner opened his mouth than he became a laughingstock to all who heard him. Lady Success, to console him, said,
"But you far excel in beauty and in size. The splendour of the emerald shines in your neck and you unfold a tail gorgeous with painted plumage."
"But for what purpose have I," said the bird, "this dumb beauty so long as I am surpassed in song?"
"The lot of each," replied Lady Success, "has been assigned - to you, beauty; to the eagle, strength; to the nightingale, song; to the raven, favourable, and to the crow, unfavourable auguries. These are all contented with the endowments allotted to them."
❖ The shallow purpose of consoling a laughingstock in a quite demanding situation may be termed "doing what is necessary".

The Peacock and the Crane

A PEACOCK spreading its gorgeous tail mocked a crane that passed by, ridiculing the ashen hue of its plumage and saying,
"I am robed, like a king, in gold and purple and all the colours of the rainbow; while you have not a bit of colour on your wings."
"True," replied the crane; "but I soar to the heights of heaven and lift up my voice to the stars, while you walk below, like a cock, among the birds of the dunghill."
❖ Fine feathers don't make fine birds.

The Peasant and the Apple-Tree

A PEASANT had in his garden an apple-tree which bore no fruit but only served as a harbour for the sparrows and grasshoppers. He resolved to cut it down, and taking his axe in his hand, made a bold stroke at its roots. The grasshoppers and sparrows begged him not to cut down the tree that sheltered them, but to spare it, and they would sing to him and lighten his labours. He paid no attention to their request, but gave the tree a second and a third blow with his axe. When he reached the hollow of the tree, he found a hive full of honey. Having tasted the honeycomb, he threw down his axe, and looking on the tree as sacred, took great care of it.
❖ Self-interest alone moves some men.

The Oxen and the Axle-Trees

A HEAVY WAGON was being dragged along a country lane by a team of oxen. The axle-trees groaned and creaked terribly; whereupon the oxen, turning round, thus addressed the wheels:
"Hullo there! why do you make so much noise? We bear all the labour, and we, not you, ought to cry out."
❖ Maybe those who suffer most cry out the least.

The Oxen and the Butchers

THE OXEN once on a time sought to destroy the butchers, who practised a trade destructive to their race. They assembled on a certain day to carry out their purpose, and sharpened their horns for the contest. But one of them who was exceedingly old (for many a field had he plowed) thus spoke:
"These butchers, it is true, slaughter us, but they do so with skilful hands, and with no unnecessary pain. If we get rid of them, we shall fall into the hands of unskilful operators, and thus suffer a double death: for you may be assured, that though all the butchers should perish, yet will men never want beef."
❖ Do not be in a hurry to change one evil for another

The Philosopher, the Ants, and Sir Transporter

A PHILOSOPHER witnessed from the shore the shipwreck of a vessel, of which the crew and passengers were all drowned. He inveighed against the injustice of Providence, which would for the sake of one criminal perchance sailing in the ship allow so many innocent persons to perish. As he was indulging in these reflections, he found himself surrounded by a whole army of ants, near whose nest he was standing. One of them climbed up and stung him, and he at once trampled them all to death with his foot. Sir Transporter presented himself, and striking the philosopher with his wand, said,
"And are you indeed to make yourself a judge of the dealings of Providence, who have yourself in a similar manner treated these poor ants?"
❖ Ants and persons seldom perish from refusing better things.
❖ Great things can be achieved by some who help one another.

The Serpent and the Eagle

A SERPENT and an eagle were struggling with each other in deadly conflict. The serpent had the advantage, and was about to strangle the bird. A countryman saw them, and running up, loosed the coil of the serpent and let the eagle go free. The serpent, irritated at the escape of his prey, injected his poison into the drinking horn of the countryman. The rustic, ignorant of his danger, was about to drink, when the eagle struck his hand with his wing, and, seizing the drinking horn in his talons, carried it aloft.
❖ Excellent help may be difficult to appreciate in a squeeze that is still unrecognised.

The Wild Boar and the Fox

A WILD BOAR stood under a tree and rubbed his tusks against the trunk. A fox passing by asked him why he thus sharpened his teeth when there was no danger threatening from either huntsman or hound. He replied,
"I do it advisedly; for it would never do to have to sharpen my weapons just at the time I ought to be using them."
❖ In fair weather prepare for foul. [American proverb]

The Wasp and the Snake

A WASP seated himself on the head of a snake and, striking him unceasingly with his stings, wounded him to death. The snake, being in great torment and not knowing how to rid himself of his enemy, saw a wagon heavily laden with wood, and went and purposely placed his head under the wheels, saying,
"At least my enemy and I shall perish together."
❖ Look closely at the situation to see if somebody is compromising himself, acting out conditioned responses, or excelling.

The Wasps, the Partridges, and the Farmer

THE WASPS and the partridges, overcome with thirst, came to a farmer and besought him to give them some water to drink. They promised amply to repay him the favour which they asked. The partridges declared that they would dig around his vines and make them produce finer grapes. The wasps said that they would keep guard and drive off thieves with their stings. But the farmer interrupted them, saying:
"I have already two oxen, who, without making any promises, do all these things. It is surely better for me to give the water to them than to you."
❖ A man doesn't have to look to any tempting distractions that promise to bring the path and one-pointed applications he already has.

The Oak and the Reeds

A VERY LARGE OAK was uprooted by the wind and thrown across a stream. It fell among some reeds, which it thus addressed:
"I wonder how you, who are so light and weak, are not entirely crushed by these strong winds."
They replied,
"You fight and contend with the wind, and consequently you are destroyed; while we on the contrary bend before the least breath of air, and therefore remain unbroken, and escape."
❖ Stoop to conquer.

The Oak and the Woodcutters

THE WOODCUTTER cut down a mountain Oak and split it in pieces, making wedges of its own branches for dividing the trunk. The oak said with a sigh, "I don't care about the blows of the axe aimed at my roots, but I do grieve at being torn in pieces by these wedges made from my own branches."
❖ Misfortunes springing from ourselves can be among the hardest to bear.

The Oaks and Sir Success

THE OAKS presented a complaint to Sir Success, saying,
"We bear for no purpose the burden of life, as of all the trees that grow we are the most continually in peril of the axe."
Sir Success made answer:
"You have only to thank yourselves for the misfortunes to which you are exposed: for if you did not make such excellent pillars and posts, and prove yourselves so serviceable to the carpenters and the farmers, the axe would not so frequently be laid to your roots."
❖ A sad side of shown and unguarded excellence is abuse stemming from it.

The Panther and the Shepherds

A PANTHER, by some mischance, fell into a pit. The shepherds discovered him, and some threw sticks at him and pelted him with stones, while others, moved with compassion towards one about to die even though no one should hurt him, threw in some food to prolong his life. At night they returned home, not dreaming of any danger, but supposing that on the morrow they would find him dead.
The panther, however, when he had recruited his feeble strength, freed himself with a sudden bound from the pit, and hastened to his den with rapid steps. After a few days he came forth and slaughtered the cattle, and, killing the shepherds who had attacked him, raged with angry fury. Then they who had spared his life, fearing for their safety, surrendered to him their flocks and begged only for their lives. To them the panther made this reply:
"I remember alike those who sought my life with stones, and those who gave me food. Put aside, therefore, your fears. I return as an enemy only to those who injured me."
❖ Some revelations of principles can have astounding effects.

206. The Partridge and the Fowler
207. The Rose and the Amaranth
208. The Swallow, the Serpent, and the Court of Justice
209. The Vain Jackdaw
210. The Two Pots
211. Sir Success, Sir Voyager, Lady Minerva, and Momus
212. The Blind Man and the Whelp
213. The Brother and the Sister
214. The Walnut-Tree
215. The Olive-Tree and the Fig-Tree
216. The Vine and the Goat
217. The Trees and the Axe
218. The Trees Under the Protection of the Good Men
219. The Flea and the Ox
220. The Flea and the Man
221. The Flea and the Wrestler
222. The Prophet
223. The Shipwrecked Man and the Sea
224. The Widow and Her Little Maidens
225. The Widow and the Sheep

The Partridge and the Fowler

A FOWLER caught a partridge and was about to kill it. The partridge earnestly begged him to spare his life, saying,
"Sir, permit me to live and I will entice many partridges to you in recompense for your mercy to me."
The fowler replied,
"I shall now with less scruple take your life, because you are willing to save it at the cost of betraying your friends and relations."
❖ When the will is good, sharing in natural values and interactions follows.

The Rose and the Amaranth

AN AMARANTH planted in a garden near a rose-tree, thus addressed it:
"What a lovely flower is the rose, a favourite with men and women. I envy you your beauty and your perfume."
The rose replied,
"I indeed, dear Amaranth, flourish but for a brief season! If no cruel hand pluck me from my stem, yet I must perish by an early doom. But you are immortal and never fade, but bloom for ever in renewed youth."
❖ Don't think too well of others and their conditions.
❖ One is to rise above superficial appearances and immediate issues.

The Swallow, the Serpent, and the Court of Justice

A SWALLOW, returning from abroad and especially fond of dwelling with men, built herself a nest in the wall of a court of Justice and there hatched seven young birds. A serpent gliding past the nest from its hole in the wall ate up the young unfledged nestlings. The swallow, finding her nest empty, lamented greatly and exclaimed:
"Woe to me a stranger! that in this place where all others' rights are protected, I alone should suffer wrong."
❖ Many overlook what is safe living within the first and misty measures.
❖ Indulging in work seldom makes the home fit.

The Vain Jackdaw

SIR SUCCESS once determined to have a sovereign over the birds, and made proclamation that on a certain day they should all present themselves before him, when he would himself choose the most beautiful among them to be king. The jackdaw, knowing his own ugliness, searched through the woods and fields, and collected the feathers which had fallen from the wings of his companions, and stuck them in all parts of his body, hoping thereby to make himself the most beautiful of all.
When the appointed day arrived, and the birds had assembled before Sir Success, the jackdaw also appeared in his many-feathered finery. But when Sir Success proposed to make him king because of the beauty of his plumage, the birds indignantly protested, and each plucked from him his own feathers, leaving the jackdaw nothing but a jackdaw.
❖ A bird never flies so far its "tale" doesn't follow it. [American proverb, Ap 51]
❖ Every bird is known by its feathers. [American proverb, Ap 52, 205]

The Two Pots

A RIVER carried down in its stream two pots, one made of earthenware and the other of brass. The earthen pot said to the brass pot,
"Do keep at a distance and do not come near me, for if you touch me ever so slightly, I shall be broken in pieces, and besides, I by no means wish to come near you."
❖ Look inside for clues if you need a deeper understanding of a situation. Scientists try to.
❖ Equals make the best friends.

Sir Success, Sir Voyager, Lady Minerva, and Momus

ACCORDING to an ancient legend, the first man was made by Sir Success, the first bull by his brother, Sir Voyager, and the first house by the musical Lady Minerva. After completed their labours, a dispute arose among them as to which had made the most perfect work. They agreed to appoint a certain man, Momus, as judge, and to abide by his decision. Momus, however, was very envious of the handicraft of each, and found fault with all.
First he blamed the work of Sir Voyager because he had not made the horns of the bull below his eyes, so he might better see where to strike.
He then condemned the work of Sir Success, because he had not placed the heart of man on the outside so that everyone might read the thoughts of the evil disposed and take precautions against the intended mischief.
And, lastly, he protested against Lady Minerva because she had not contrived iron wheels in the foundation of her house, so its inhabitants might more easily remove if a neighbour proved to be unpleasant.
Sir Success became indignant at such inveterate faultfinding, drove him from his office of judge, and expelled him from the mansions of the lords where he was settled.
❖ Judge well yourself before you criticize. [American proverb, Ap 341]
❖ One should neither judge beings nor works of art by invented defects. [Ap 341]
❖ Gently to hear, kindly to judge. [American proverb, Ap 290]

The Blind Man and the Whelp

A BLIND MAN was used to distinguishing different animals by touching them with his hands. The whelp of a wolf was brought him, with a request that he would feel it, and say what it was. He felt it, and being in doubt, said:
"I don't quite know whether it is the cub of a fox, or the whelp of a wolf, but this I know full well: It would not be safe to admit him to the sheepfold."
❖ Evil tendencies are shown in early life.

The Brother and the Sister

A FATHER had one son and one daughter, the former remarkable for his good looks, the latter for her extraordinary ugliness. While they were playing one day as children, they happened by chance to look together into a mirror that was placed on their mother's chair. The boy congratulated himself on his good looks; the girl grew angry, and could not bear the self-praises of her brother, interpreting all he said (and how could she do otherwise?) into reflection on herself.
She ran off to her father to be avenged on her brother, and spitefully accused him of having, as a boy, made use of that which belonged only to girls. The father embraced them both, and bestowing his kisses and affection impartially on each, said,
"I wish you both would look into the mirror every day: you, my son, that you may not spoil your beauty by evil conduct; and you, my daughter, that you may make up for your lack of beauty by your virtues."
❖ An ugly woman dreads the mirror. [American proverb, Ap 623]

The Walnut-Tree

A WALNUT TREE standing by the roadside bore an abundant crop of fruit. For the sake of the nuts, the passers-by broke its branches with stones and sticks. The walnut-tree piteously exclaimed,
"Wretched me! that those whom I cheer with my fruit should repay me with these painful blows!"
❖ Try to perform according to the depth of situations and those involved.

The Olive-Tree and the Fig-Tree

THE OLIVE-TREE ridiculed the fig-tree because, while she was green all the year round, the fig-tree changed its leaves with the seasons. A shower of snow fell on them, and, finding the olive full of foliage, it settled on its branches and broke them down with its weight, at once despoiling it of its beauty and killing the tree. But finding the fig-tree denuded of leaves, the snow fell through to the ground, and did not injure it at all.
❖ Reorientation offers the hope of a better way of life.

The Vine and the Goat

A VINE was luxuriant in the time of vintage with leaves and grapes. A goat, passing by, nibbled its young tendrils and its leaves. The vine addressed him and said:
"Why do you thus injure me without a cause, and crop my leaves? Is there no young grass left? But I shall not have to wait long for my just revenge; for if you now should crop my leaves, and cut me down to my root, I shall provide the wine to pour over you when you are led as a victim to the sacrifice."
❖ It is consciousness that brings about actualisations: karma is not mechanical.

The Trees and the Axe

A MAN came into a forest and asked the trees to provide him a handle for his axe. The trees agreed to his request and gave him a young ash-tree. No sooner had the man fitted a new handle to his axe from it, than he began to use it and quickly felled with his strokes the noblest giants of the forest.
An old oak, lamenting when too late the destruction of his companions, said to a neighbouring cedar,
"The first step has lost us all. If we had not given up the rights of the ash, we might yet have retained our own privileges and have stood for ages."
❖ Show enough concern in the seemingly innocent little things.
❖ Give some people an inch and they will take a mile. [American proverb, Ap 328]
❖ Nourishing of others needs to be seen in a wide perspective.

The Trees Under the Protection of the Good Men

THE LORS AND PEERS, according to an ancient legend, made choice of certain trees to be under their special protection. Sir Success chose the oak, Lady Love the myrtle, Sir Apollo the laurel, Lady Cybele the pine, and Sir Herakles the poplar. Lady Minerva, wondering why they had preferred trees not yielding fruit, asked the reason for their choice. Sir Success replied,
"It is lest we should seem to covet the honour for the fruit."
But said Lady Minerva, "Let anyone say what he will; the olive is more dear to me on account of its fruit."
Then said Sir Success, "My daughter, you are rightly called wise; for unless what we do is useful, the glory of it is vain."
❖ Even the shadows of trees help - on arduous journeys and against sunstrokes.

The Flea and the Ox

A FLEA thus questioned an ox:
"What ails you, that being so huge and strong, you submit to the wrongs you receive from men and slave for them day by day, while I, being so small a creature, mercilessly feed on their flesh and drink their blood without stint?"
The ox replied:
"I don't wish to be ungrateful, for I am loved and well cared for by men, and they often pat my head and shoulders."
"Woe's me!" said the flea; "this very patting which you like, whenever it happens to me, brings with it my inevitable destruction."
❖ In politics one whines over rising above principles. [Cf. American proverb, Ap 484]

The Flea and the Man

A MAN, very much annoyed with a flea, caught him at last, and said, "Who are you who dare to feed on my limbs, and to cost me so much trouble in catching you?"
The flea replied, "My dear sir, pray spare my life, and destroy me not, for I cannot possibly do you much harm."
The man, laughing, replied, "Now you shall certainly die by my own hands, for no evil, whether it be small or large, ought to be tolerated."
❖ Traditional ways of approaching things (and flies) should lead to the best solutions.
❖ Energetic resolves depend on ensuing activity.

The Flea and the Wrestler

A FLEA settled on the bare foot of a wrestler and bit him, causing the man to call loudly on Sir Herakles for help. When the flea a second time hopped on his foot, he groaned and said,
"Sir Herakles! if you will not help me against a flea, how can I hope for your assistance against greater antagonists?"
❖ Flattery is a resort of fools. [Cf. American proverb, Ap 506]

The Prophet

A WIZARD, sitting in the marketplace, was telling the fortunes of the passers-by when a person ran up in great haste, and announced to him that the doors of his house had been broken open and that all his goods were being stolen. He sighed heavily and hastened away as fast as he could run. A neighbour saw him running and said,
"Oh! you fellow there! you say you can foretell the fortunes of others; how is it you did not foresee your own?"
❖ To ignore sham suggests ignoring the old wisdom of studying things deeply enough for mastery.

The Shipwrecked Man and the Sea

A SHIPWRECKED MAN, having been cast on a certain shore, slept after his buffetings with the deep. After a while he awoke, and looking on the sea, loaded it with reproaches. He argued that it enticed men with the calmness of its looks, but when it had induced them to plow its waters, it grew rough and destroyed them.
The sea, assuming the form of a woman, replied to him:
"Blame not me, my good sir, but the winds, for I am by my own nature as calm and firm even as this earth; but the winds suddenly falling on me create these waves, and lash me into fury."
❖ A true message makes us benefit as we learn to relax.

The Widow and Her Little Maidens

A WIDOW who was fond of cleaning had two little maidens to wait on her. She was in the habit of waking them early in the morning, at cockcrow. The maidens, aggravated by such excessive labour, resolved to kill the cock who roused their mistress so early. When they had done this, they found that they had only prepared for themselves greater troubles, for their mistress, no longer hearing the hour from the cock, woke them up to their work in the middle of the night.
❖ Foresight is better than hindsight. [American proverb, Ap 228]
❖ Shortsightedness becomes quite a problem when it sides with faults instead of redressing them.

The Widow and the Sheep

A CERTAIN poor widow had one single sheep. At shearing time, wishing to take his fleece and to avoid expense, she sheared him herself, but used the shears so unskilfully that with the fleece she sheared the flesh.
The sheep, writhing with pain, said,
"Why do you hurt me so, mistress? What weight can my blood add to the wool? If you want my flesh, there is the butcher, who will kill me in an instant; but if you want my fleece and wool, there is the shearer, who will shear and not hurt me."
❖ Lack of skill causes lots of difficulties.

226. The Boasting Traveller
227. The Bull, the Lioness, and the Wild-Boar Hunter
228. The Frogs Asking For A King
229. The Frogs' Complaint against the Sun
230. The Heifer and the Ox
231. The Jackdaw and the Doves
232. The Jackdaw and the Fox
233. The Mother and the Wolf
234. The Pomegranate, Apple-Tree, and Bramble
235. The Shepherd and the Dog
236. The Shepherd and the Sea
237. The Shepherd and the Sheep
238. The Shepherd and the Wolf
239. The Shepherd's Boy and the Wolf
240. The Seller of Images
241. The Thirsty Pigeon
242. The Three Tradesmen
243. The Dog's House
244. The Birds, the Beasts, and the Bat
245. The Lamb and the Wolf

The Boasting Traveller

A MAN who had travelled in foreign lands boasted very much, on returning to his own country, of the many wonderful and heroic feats he had performed in the different places he had visited. Among other things, he said that when he was at Rhodos he had leaped to such a distance that no man of his day could leap anywhere near him as to that, there were in Rhodos many persons who saw him do it and whom he could call as witnesses. One of the bystanders interrupted him, saying:
"Now, my good man, if this be all true there is no need of witnesses. Suppose this to be Rhodos, and leap for us."

The Bull, the Lioness, and the Wild-Boar Hunter

A BULL finding a lion's cub asleep gored him to death with his horns. The lioness came up, and bitterly lamented the death of her whelp. A wild-boar hunter, seeing her distress, stood at a distance and said to her,
"Think how many men there are who have reason to lament the loss of their children, whose deaths have been caused by you."

The Frogs Asking for a King

THE FROGS, grieved at having no established Ruler, sent ambassadors to Sir Success entreating for a king. Perceiving their simplicity, he cast down a huge log into the lake. The frogs were terrified at the splash occasioned by its fall and hid themselves in the depths of the pool. But as soon as they realised that the huge log was motionless, they swam again to the top of the water, dismissed their fears, climbed up, and began squatting on it in contempt. After some time they began to think themselves ill-treated in the appointment of so inert a ruler, and sent a second deputation to Jove to pray that he would set over them another sovereign. He then gave them an eel to govern them. When the frogs discovered his easy good nature, they sent yet a third time to Jove to beg him to choose for them still another King. Jove was now displeased with all their complaints and sent a heron, who preyed on the frogs day by day till there were none left to croak on the lake.
❖ Many a time there is more to take into account than what is seen at first and second glance.
❖ Beware of repercussions.
❖ "Nothing too much" is one of the treasured values in Taoism. The Greek metron (measured regulations, functioning within bounds) comes to mind too.

The Frogs' Complaint against the Sun

ONCE ON A TIME, when the sun announced that he intended to take a wife, the frogs lifted up their voices in clamour to the sky. Jove got disturbed by the noise of their croaking, and asked why they complained so loudly. One of them said,
"The sun, now while he is single, parches up the marsh, and compels us to die miserably in our arid homes. What will be our future condition if he should beget other suns?"
❖ What suits one, may not always suit all others.

The Heifer and the Ox

A HEIFER saw an ox hard at work harnessed to a plow, and tormented him with reflections on his unhappy fate in being compelled to labour. Shortly afterwards, at the harvest festival, the owner released the ox from his yoke, but bound the heifer with cords and led him away to the altar to be slain in honour of the occasion. The ox saw what was being done, and said with a smile to the heifer:
"For this you were allowed to live in idleness, because you were to be sacrificed."
❖ Consider as much as you can of the total picture before your mind gets set on lots of things. "Why here" is a help toward ongoing reflection.

The Jackdaw and the Doves

A JACKDAW, seeing some doves in a cote abundantly provided with food, painted himself white and joined them in order to share their plentiful maintenance. As long as he was silent the doves supposed him to be one of themselves and admitted him to their cote. But when one day he forgot himself and began to chatter, they discovered his true character and drove him forth, pecking him with their beaks. Failing to get food among the doves, he returned to the jackdaws. They too, not recognising him on account of his colour, expelled him from living with them. So desiring two ends, he got neither.
❖ Not all adaptations are successful; we should stay with the best ones for us as long as we can.

The Jackdaw and the Fox

A HALF-FAMISHED JACKDAW seated himself on a fig-tree, which had produced some fruit entirely out of season, and waited in the hope that the figs would ripen. A fox seeing him sitting so long and learning the reason of his doing so, said to him,
"You are indeed sadly deceiving yourself; you are indulging a hope strong enough to cheat you, but which will never reward you with enjoyment."
❖ To study the lay of the land before going into hopes and fervent hopes should be a rewarding approach.

The Mother and the Wolf

A FAMISHED WOLF was prowling about in the morning in search of food. As he passed the door of a cottage built in the forest, he heard a mother say to her child, "Be quiet, or I will throw you out of the window, and the wolf shall eat you."
The wolf sat all day waiting at the door. In the evening he heard the same woman fondling her child and saying:
"You are quiet now, and if the wolf should come, we will kill him."
The wolf, hearing these words, went home, gasping with cold and hunger. When he reached his den, Mistress Wolf asked of him why he returned wearied and supperless, so contrary to his wont. He replied:
"Why, I trusted in the words of a woman!"
❖ Say what you mean and do not overdo it either. Gentle understatement may suit some.

The Pomegranate, Apple-Tree, and Bramble

THE POMEGRANATE and apple-tree disputed as to which was the most beautiful. When their strife was at its height, a bramble from the neighbouring hedge lifted up its voice, and said in a boastful tone:
"Oh my dear friends, in my presence at least cease from such vain disputings."

The Shepherd and the Dog

A SHEPHERD penning his sheep in the fold for the night was about to shut up a wolf with them, when his dog perceiving the wolf said,
"Master, how can you expect the sheep to be safe if you admit a wolf into the fold?"
❖ A good question does not always demand any words in answer.

The Shepherd and the Sea

A SHEPHERD, keeping watch over his sheep near the shore, saw the sea very calm and smooth, and longed to make a voyage with a view to commerce. He sold all his flock, invested it in a cargo of dates, and set sail. But a very great tempest came on, and the ship being in danger of sinking, he threw all his merchandise overboard, and barely escaped with his life in the empty ship. Not long afterwards when someone passed by and observed the unruffled calm of the sea, he interrupted him and said,
"It is again in want of dates, and therefore looks quiet."
❖ When largely out of your waters, it may pay to keep your explanations quite tentative.

The Shepherd and the Sheep

A SHEPHERD driving his sheep to a wood, saw an oak of unusual size full of acorns, and spreading his cloak under the branches, he climbed up into the tree and shook them down. The sheep eating the acorns inadvertently frayed and tore the cloak. When the shepherd came down and saw what was done, he said,
"You most ungrateful creatures! You provide wool to make garments for all other men, but you destroy the clothes of him who feeds you."
❖ Overly self-centered moralising may not be benign.

The Shepherd and the Wolf

A SHEPHERD once found the whelp of a wolf and brought it up, and after a while taught it to steal lambs from the neighbouring flocks. The wolf, having shown himself an apt pupil, said to the shepherd, "Since you have taught me to steal, you must keep a sharp lookout, or you will lose some of your own flock."
❖ Some can be trusted. Who are they? What do they have in common? [LINK]

The Shepherd's Boy and the Wolf

A SHEPHERD-BOY, who watched a flock of sheep near a village, brought out the villagers three or four times by crying out, "Wolf! Wolf!" and when his neighbours came to help him, laughed at them for their pains. The wolf, however, did truly come at last. The shepherd-boy, now really alarmed, shouted in an agony of terror:
"Oh do come and help me; the wolf is killing the sheep"; but no one paid any heed to his cries, nor rendered any assistance. The wolf, having no cause of fear, at his leisure lacerated or destroyed the whole flock.
❖ Double trouble: No one believing a liar when he speaks the truth.

The Seller of Images

A CERTAIN MAN made a wooden image of Mercury and offered it for sale. When no one appeared willing to buy it, in order to attract buyers, he cried out that he had the statue to sell of a benefactor who bestowed wealth and helped to heap up riches. One of the bystanders said to him,
"My good fellow, why do you sell him, being such a one as you describe, when you may yourself enjoy the good things he has to give?"
"Why," he replied,
"I am in need of immediate help, and he is wont to give his good gifts very slowly."
❖ Rationalisations [psychological term] may become costly as time goes by.

The Thirsty Pigeon

A PIGEON, oppressed by excessive thirst, saw a goblet of water painted on a signboard. Not supposing it to be only a picture, she flew towards it with a loud whir and unwittingly dashed against the signboard, jarring herself terribly. Having broken her wings by the blow, she fell to the ground, and was caught by one of the bystanders.
❖ Zeal should not outrun discretion.

The Three Tradesmen

A GREAT CITY was besieged, and its inhabitants were called together to consider the best means of protecting it from the enemy. A bricklayer earnestly recommended bricks as affording the best material for an effective resistance. A Carpenter, with equal enthusiasm, proposed timber as a preferable method of defence. On which a currier stood up and said,
"Sirs, I differ from you altogether: there is no material for resistance equal to a covering of hides; and nothing so good as leather."
❖ Every man for himself, they say.

The Dog's House

IN THE WINTERTIME, a dog curled up in as small a space as possible on account of the cold, determined to make himself a house. However when the summer returned again, he lay asleep stretched at his full length and appeared to himself to be of a great size. Now he considered that it would be neither an easy nor a necessary work to make himself such a house as would accommodate him.
❖ Shortsighted and immediate goals may tie us up a lot, just like trivial pursuits.

The Birds, the Beasts, and the Bat

THE BIRDS waged war with the beasts, and each were by turns the conquerors. A bat, fearing the uncertain issues of the fight, always fought on the side which he felt was the strongest. When peace was proclaimed, his deceitful conduct was apparent to both combatants. Therefore being condemned by each for his treachery, he was driven forth from the light of day, and henceforth hid himself in dark hiding-places, flying always alone and at night.
❖ Find out which side you are on as soon as you are up to it, then.

The Lamb and the Wolf

A WOLF pursued a lamb, which fled for refuge to a certain Temple. The wolf called out to him and said, "The priest will slay you in sacrifice, if he should catch you."
The lamb replied, "It would be better for me to be sacrificed in the temple than to be eaten by you."
❖ "It would add up to the same," seems to be a more correct answer.

246. The Rich Man and the Tanner
247. The Father and His Sons
248. The Father and His Two Daughters
249. The Piglet, the Sheep, and the Goat
250. The Seaside Travellers
251. The She-Goats and Their Beards
252. The Stag At the Pool
253. The Stag in the Ox-Stall
254. The Stag, the Wolf, and the Sheep
255. The Wolf and the Crane
256. The Wolf and the Fox
257. The Wolf and the Goat
258. The Wolf and the Horse
259. The Wolf and the House-Dog
260. The Wolf and the Lion
261. The Wolf and the Lion
262. The Wolf and the Sheep
263. The Wolf and the Shepherd
264. The Wolf and the Shepherds
265. The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

The Rich Man and the Tanner

A RICH MAN lived near a tanner, and not being able to bear the unpleasant smell of the tan-yard, he pressed his neighbour to go away. The tanner put off his departure from time to time, saying that he would leave soon. But as he still continued to stay, as time went on, the rich man became used to the smell, and feeling no manner of inconvenience, made no further complaints.

The Father and His Sons

A FATHER had a family of sons who were perpetually quarrelling among themselves. When he failed to heal their disputes by his exhortations, he determined to give them a practical illustration of the evils of disunion; and for this purpose he one day told them to bring him a bundle of sticks. When they had done so, he placed the faggot into the hands of each of them in succession, and ordered them to break it in pieces. They tried with all their strength, and were not able to do it. He next opened the faggot, took the sticks separately, one by one, and again put them into his sons' hands, on which they broke them easily. He then addressed them in these words:
"My sons, if you are of one mind, and unite to assist each other, you will be as this faggot, uninjured by all the attempts of your enemies; but if you are divided among yourselves, you will be broken as easily as these sticks."

The Father and His Two Daughters

A MAN had two daughters, the one married to a gardener, and the other to a tile-maker. After a time he went to the daughter who had married the gardener, and asked how she was and how all things went with her. She said,
"All things are prospering with me, and I have only one wish, that there may be a heavy fall of rain, in order that the plants may be well watered."
Not long after, he went to the daughter who had married the tilemaker, and likewise asked of her how she fared; she replied,
"I want for nothing, and have only one wish, that the dry weather may continue, and the sun shine hot and bright, so that the bricks might be dried."
He said to her, "If your sister wishes for rain, and you for dry weather, with which of the two am I to join my wishes?"

The Piglet, the Sheep, and the Goat

A YOUNG PIG was shut up in a fold-yard with a goat and a sheep. On one occasion when the shepherd laid hold of him, he grunted and squeaked and resisted violently. The sheep and the goat complained of his distressing cries, saying,
"He often handles us, and we do not cry out."
The pig replied,
"Your handling and mine are very different things. He catches you only for your wool, or your milk, but he lays hold on me for my very life."

The Seaside Travellers

SOME TRAVELLERS, journeying along the seashore, climbed to the summit of a tall cliff, and looking over the sea, saw in the distance what they thought was a large ship. They waited in the hope of seeing it enter the harbour, but as the object on which they looked was driven nearer to shore by the wind, they found that it could at the most be a small boat, and not a ship. When however it reached the beach, they discovered that it was only a large faggot of sticks, and one of them said to his companions, "We have waited for no purpose, for after all there is nothing to see but a load of wood."
❖ Our mere anticipations of life should not run wild and outrun its realities.

The She-Goats and Their Beards

THE SHE-GOATS having obtained a beard by request to Jove, the he-Goats were sorely displeased and made complaint that the females equalled them in dignity.
"Allow them," said Jove, "to enjoy an empty honour and to assume the badge of your nobler sex, so long as they are not your equals in strength or courage."
❖ It matters if those who are inferior to us in merit get like us in outside appearances, but hardly enough.

The Stag At the Pool

A STAG overpowered by heat came to a spring to drink. Seeing his own shadow reflected in the water, he greatly admired the size and variety of his horns, but felt angry with himself for having such slender and weak feet. While he was thus contemplating himself, a lion appeared at the pool and crouched to spring on him. The stag at once took to flight, and exerting his utmost speed, as long as the plain was smooth and open kept himself easily at a safe distance from the lion. But entering a wood he became entangled by his horns, and the lion quickly came up to him and caught him. When too late, he thus reproached himself:
"Woe is me! How I have deceived myself! These feet which would have saved me I despised, and I gloried in these antlers which have proved my destruction."
❖ What is most truly valuable is often underrated.

The Stag in the Ox-Stall

A STAG, roundly chased by the hounds and blinded by fear to the danger he was running into, took shelter in a farmyard and hid himself in a shed among the oxen. An Ox gave him this kindly warning:
"O unhappy creature! why should you thus, of your own accord, incur destruction and trust yourself in the house of your enemy?"
The stag replied:
"Only allow me, friend, to stay where I am, and I will undertake to find some favourable opportunity of effecting my escape."
At the approach of the evening the herdsman came to feed his cattle, but did not see the stag; and even the farm-bailiff with several labourers passed through the shed and failed to notice him. The stag, congratulating himself on his safety, began to express his sincere thanks to the oxen who had kindly helped him in the hour of need. One of them again answered him:
"We indeed wish you well, but the danger is not over. There is one other yet to pass through the shed, who has as it were a hundred eyes, and till he has come and gone, your life is still in peril."
At that moment the master himself entered, and having had to complain that his oxen had not been properly fed, he went up to their racks and cried out:
"Why is there such a scarcity of fodder? There is not half enough straw for them to lie on. Those lazy fellows have not even swept the cobwebs away."
While he thus examined everything in turn, he spied the tips of the antlers of the stag peeping out of the straw. Then summoning his labourers, he ordered that the stag should be seized and killed.

The Stag, the Wolf, and the Sheep

A STAG asked a sheep to lend him a measure of wheat, and said that the wolf would be his surety. The sheep, fearing some fraud was intended, excused herself, saying,
"The wolf is used to seize what he wants and to run off; and you, too, can quickly outstrip me in your rapid flight. How then shall I be able to find you, when the day of payment comes?"
❖ Two blacks do not make one white.

The Wolf and the Crane

A WOLF who had a bone stuck in his throat hired a crane, for a large sum, to put her head into his mouth and draw out the bone. When the crane had extracted the bone and demanded the promised payment, the wolf, grinning and grinding his teeth, exclaimed:
"Why, you have surely already had a enough recompense, in having been permitted to draw out your head in safety from the mouth and jaws of a wolf."
❖ In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.

The Wolf and the Fox

AT ONE TIME a very large and strong Wolf was born among the wolves, who exceeded all his fellow-wolves in strength, size, and swiftness, so that they unanimously decided to call him "Lion."
The wolf, with a lack of sense proportioned to his enormous size, thought that they gave him this name in earnest, and, leaving his own race, consorted exclusively with the lions. An old sly Fox, seeing this, said,
"May I never make myself so ridiculous as you do in your pride and self-conceit; for even though you have the size of a lion among wolves, in a herd of lions you are definitely a wolf."

The Wolf and the Goat

A WOLF saw a goat feeding at the summit of a steep precipice, where he had no chance of reaching her. He called to her and earnestly begged her to come lower down, lest she fall by some mishap; and he added that the meadows lay where he was standing, and that the herbage was most tender. She replied,
"No, my friend, it is not for the pasture that you invite me, but for yourself, who are in want of food."

The Wolf and the Horse

A WOLF coming out of a field of oats met a horse and thus addressed him:
"I would advise you to go into that field. It is full of fine oats, which I have left touched for you, as you are a friend whom I would love to hear enjoying good eating."
The horse replied,
"If oats had been the food of wolves, you would never have indulged your ears at the cost of your belly."
❖ Men of evil reputation, when they perform a good deed, may not get full credit for it.

The Wolf and the House-Dog

A WOLF, meeting a big well-fed Mastiff with a wooden collar about his neck asked him who it was that fed him so well and yet compelled him to drag that heavy log about wherever he went.
"The master," he replied.
Then said the wolf: "May no friend of mine ever be in such a plight; for the weight of this chain is enough to spoil the appetite."

The Wolf and the Lion

ROAMING BY the mountainside at sundown, a wolf saw his own shadow become greatly extended and magnified, and he said to himself, "Why should I, being of such an immense size and extending nearly an acre in length, be afraid of the lion? Ought I not to be acknowledged as King of all the collected beasts?"
While he was indulging in these proud thoughts, a lion fell on him and killed him. He exclaimed with a too late repentance, "Wretched me! this overestimation of myself is the cause of my destruction."

The Wolf and the Lion

A WOLF, having stolen a lamb from a fold, was carrying him off to his lair. A lion met him in the path, and seizing the lamb, took it from him. Standing at a safe distance, the wolf exclaimed,
"You have unrighteously taken that which was mine from me!" To which the lion jeeringly replied,
"It was righteously yours, eh? The gift of a friend?"

The Wolf and the Sheep

A WOLF, sorely wounded and bitten by dogs, lay sick and maimed in his lair. Being in want of food, he called to a sheep who was passing, and asked him to fetch some water from a stream flowing close beside him.
"For," he said, "if you will bring me drink, I will find means to provide myself with meat."
"Yes," said the sheep, "if I should bring you the draught, you would doubtless make me provide the meat also."
❖ Hypocritical speeches have to be seen through.

The Wolf and the Shepherd

A WOLF followed a flock of sheep for a long time and did not attempt to injure one of them. The shepherd at first stood on his guard against him, as against an enemy, and kept a strict watch over his movements. But when the wolf, day after day, kept in the company of the sheep and did not make the slightest effort to seize them, the shepherd began to look on him as a guardian of his flock rather than as a plotter of evil against it; and when occasion called him one day into the city, he left the sheep entirely in his charge. The wolf, now that he had the opportunity, fell on the sheep, and destroyed the greater part of the flock. When the shepherd returned to find his flock destroyed, he exclaimed:
"I have been rightly served; why did I trust my sheep to a wolf?"

The Wolf and the Shepherds

A WOLF, passing by, saw some shepherds in a hut eating a haunch of mutton for their dinner. Approaching them, he said,
"What a clamour you would raise if I were to do as you are doing!"

The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

ONCE ON A TIME a wolf resolved to disguise his appearance in order to secure food more easily. Encased in the skin of a sheep, he pastured with the flock deceiving the shepherd by his costume. In the evening he was shut up by the shepherd in the fold; the gate was closed, and the entrance made thoroughly secure. But the shepherd, returning to the fold during the night to get meat for the next day, mistakenly caught up the wolf instead of a sheep, and killed him instantly.
❖ Harm seek, harm find.
❖ Risk-taking may be dangerous.

266. The Wolf, the Fox, and the Ape
267. The Wolves and the Sheep
268. The Dog and the Cook
269. The Dog and the Hare
270. The Dog and the Oyster
271. The Dog and the Shadow
272. The Dog in the Manger
273. The Dog, the Cock, and the Fox
274. The Dogs and the Fox
275. The Dogs and the Hides
276. The Birdcatcher, the Partridge, and the Cock
277. The Bull and the Goat
278. The Hart and the Vine
279. The One-Eyed Doe
280. The Ill Lion
281. The Ill Stag
282. The Two Bags
283. The Two Dogs
284. The Bitch and Her Whelps
285. The Hen and the Golden Eggs

The Wolf, the Fox, and the Ape

A WOLF accused a fox of theft, but the fox entirely denied the charge. An ape undertook to judge the matter between them. When each had fully stated his case the ape announced this sentence:
"I don't think you, wolf, ever lost what you claim; and I do believe you, Ffox, to have stolen what you so stoutly deny."
❖ The dishonest, if they act honestly, get no credit.

The Wolves and the Sheep

"WHY SHOULD there always be this fear and slaughter between us?" said the wolves to the sheep. "Those evil-disposed dogs have much to answer for. They always bark whenever we approach you and attack us before we have done any harm. If you would only dismiss them from your heels, there might soon be treaties of peace and reconciliation between us."
The sheep, poor silly creatures, were easily beguiled and dismissed the dogs, whereupon the wolves destroyed the unguarded flock at their own pleasure.

The Dog and the Cook

A RICH MAN gave a great feast, to which he invited many friends and acquaintances. His Dog availed himself of the occasion to invite a stranger Dog, a friend of his, saying,
"My master gives a feast, and there is always much food remaining; come and sup with me tonight."
The dog thus invited went at the hour appointed, and seeing the preparations for so grand an entertainment, said in the joy of his heart,
"How glad I am that I came! I don't often get such a chance as this. I will take care and eat enough to last me both today and tomorrow."
While he was congratulating himself and wagging his tail to convey his pleasure to his friend, the cook saw him moving about among his dishes and, seizing him by his fore and hind paws, bundled him without ceremony out of the window. He fell with force on the ground and limped away, howling dreadfully. His yelling soon attracted other street dogs, who came up to him and asked how he had enjoyed his supper. He replied,
"Why, to tell you the truth, I drank so much wine that I remember nothing. I don't know how I got out of the house."

The Dog and the Hare

A HOUND having started a hare on the hillside pursued her for some distance, at one time biting her with his teeth as if he would take her life, and at another fawning on her, as if in play with another dog. The hare said to him,
"I wish you would act sincerely by me, and show yourself in your true colours. If you are a friend, why do you bite me so hard? If an enemy, why do you fawn on me?"
❖ No one can be a friend if you don't know whether to trust or distrust him.

The Dog and the Oyster

A DOG, used to eating eggs, saw an oyster and, opening his mouth to its widest extent, swallowed it down with the utmost relish, supposing it to be an egg. Soon afterwards suffering great pain in his stomach, he said,
"I deserve all this torment, for my folly in thinking that everything round must be an egg."
❖ They who act without enough thought, will often fall into unsuspected danger.

The Dog and the Shadow

A DOG, crossing a bridge over a stream with a piece of flesh in his mouth, saw his own shadow in the water and took it for that of another Dog, with a piece of meat double his own in size. He at once let go of his own, and fiercely attacked the other Dog to get his larger piece from him. He thus lost both: that which he grasped at in the water, because it was a shadow; and his own, because the stream swept it away.

The Dog in the Manger

A DOG lay in a manger, and by his growling and snapping prevented the oxen from eating the hay which had been placed for them.
"What a selfish Dog!" said one of them to his companions; "he cannot eat the hay himself, and yet refuses to allow those to eat who can."

The Dog, the Cock, and the Fox

A DOG and a cock being great friends, agreed to travel together. At nightfall they took shelter in a thick wood. The cock flying up, perched himself on the branches of a tree, while the dog found a bed beneath in the hollow trunk. When the morning dawned, the cock, as usual, crowed very loudly several times. A fox heard the sound, and wishing to make a breakfast on him, came and stood under the branches, saying how earnestly he desired to make the acquaintance of the owner of so magnificent a voice. The cock, suspecting his civilities, said:
"Sir, I wish you would do me the favour of going around to the hollow trunk below me, and waking my porter, so that he may open the door and let you in."
When the fox drew near the tree, the dog sprang out and caught him, and tore him to pieces.

The Dogs and the Fox

SOME DOGS, finding the skin of a lion, began to tear it in pieces with their teeth. A fox, seeing them, said,
"If this lion were alive, you would soon find out that his claws were stronger than your teeth."
❖ It is easy to kick a man that is down (Description, not a recommendation).

The Dogs and the Hides

SOME DOGS famished with hunger saw a number of cowhides steeping in a river. Not being able to reach them, they agreed to drink up the river, but it happened that they burst themselves with drinking long before they reached the hides.
❖ Attempt not impossibilities.

The Birdcatcher, the Partridge, and the Cock

A BIRDCATCHER was about to sit down to a dinner of herbs when a friend unexpectedly came in. The bird-trap was quite empty, as he had caught nothing, and he had to kill a pied Partridge, which he had tamed for a decoy. The bird begged earnestly for his life:
"What would you do without me when next you spread your nets? Who would chirp you to sleep, or call for you the covey of answering birds?"
The birdcatcher spared his life, and determined to pick out a fine young Cock just attaining to his comb. But the cock reasoned earnestly in piteous tones from his perch:
"If you kill me, who will announce to you the appearance of the dawn? Who will wake you to your daily tasks or tell you when it is time to visit the bird-trap in the morning?"
He replied,
"What you say is true. You are a capital bird at telling the time of day. But my friend and I must have our dinners."
❖ Necessity knows no law.

The Bull and the Goat

A BULL, escaping from a lion, hid in a cave which some shepherds had recently occupied. As soon as he entered, a he-goat left in the cave sharply attacked him with his horns. The bull quietly addressed him:
"Butt away as much as you will. I have no fear of you, but of the lion. Let that monster go away and I will soon let you know what is the strength of a goat to that of a bull."
❖ It shows an evil disposition to take advantage of a friend in distress.

The Hart and the Vine

A HART, hard pressed in the chase, hid himself beneath the large leaves of a vine. The huntsmen, in their haste, overshot the place of his concealment. Supposing all danger to have passed, the hart began to nibble the tendrils of the vine. One of the huntsmen, attracted by the rustling of the leaves, looked back, and seeing the hart, shot an arrow from his bow and struck it. The hart, at the point of death, groaned:
"I deserved what I got, for I should not have maltreated the vine that saved me."

The One-Eyed Doe

A DOE blind in one eye was used to graze as near to the edge of the cliff as she possibly could, in the hope of securing her greater safety. She turned her sound eye towards the land that she might get the earliest tidings of the approach of hunter or hound, and her injured eye towards the sea, from whence she entertained no anticipation of danger. Some boatmen sailing by saw her, and taking a successful aim, mortally wounded her. Yielding up her last breath, she gasped forth this lament:
"O wretched creature that I am! to take such precaution against the land, and after all to find this seashore, to which I had come for safety, so much more perilous."

The Ill Lion

A LION, unable from old age and infirmities to provide himself with food by force, resolved to do so by artifice. He returned to his den, and lying down there, pretended to be sick, taking care that his sickness should be publicly known. The beasts expressed their sorrow, and came one by one to his den, where the lion devoured them. After many of the beasts had thus disappeared, the fox discovered the trick and presenting himself to the lion, stood on the outside of the cave, at a respectful distance, and asked him how he was.
"I am very middling," replied the lion, "but why do you stand without? Pray enter within to talk with me."
"No, thank you," said the fox.
"I notice that there are many prints of feet entering your cave, but I see no trace of any returning."
❖ He is wise who is warned by the misfortunes of others.

The Ill Stag

AN ILL STAG lay down in a quiet corner of its pasture-ground. His companions came in great numbers to inquire after his health, and each one helped himself to a share of the food which had been placed for his use; so that he died, not from his sickness, but from the failure of the means of living.
❖ Evil companions bring more hurt than profit.

The Two Bags

EVERY MAN, according to an ancient legend, is born into the world with two bags suspended from his neck
all bag in front full of his neighbours' faults, and a large bag behind filled with his own faults. Hence it is that men are quick to see the faults of others, and yet are often blind to their own failings.

The Two Dogs

A MAN had two dogs: a hound, trained to assist him in his sports, and a house-dog, taught to watch the house. When he returned home after a good day's sport, he always gave the house-dog a large share of his spoil. The hound, feeling much aggrieved at this, reproached his companion, saying,
"It is very hard to have all this labour, while you, who do not assist in the chase, luxuriate on the fruits of my exertions."
The house-dog replied, "Do not blame me, my friend, but find fault with the master, who has not taught me to labour, but to depend for subsistence on the labour of others."
❖ Children are not to be blamed for the faults of their parents.

The Bitch and Her Whelps

A BITCH, ready to whelp, earnestly begged a shepherd for a place where she might litter. When her request was granted, she besought permission to rear her puppies in the same spot. The shepherd again agreed. But at last the bitch, protected by the bodyguard of her whelps, who had now grown up and were able to defend themselves, asserted her exclusive right to the place and would not permit the shepherd to approach.

The Hen and the Golden Eggs

A COTTAGER and his wife had a hen that laid a golden egg every day. They supposed that the hen must contain a great lump of gold in its inside, and in order to get the gold they killed it. Having done so, they found to their surprise that the hen differed in no respect from their other hens. The foolish pair, thus hoping to become rich all at once, deprived themselves of the gain of which they were assured day by day.


286. The Buffoon and the Countryman
287. The Dolphins, the Whales, and the Sprat
288. The Image of Sir Transporter and the Carpenter
289. The Mole and His Mother
290. The Mules and the Robbers
291. The Thrush and the Fowler
292. The Two Frogs
293. Truth and the Traveller
294. The Bull and the Calf
295. The Mice and the Weasels
296. The Mouse and the Bull
297. The Mouse, the Frog, and the Hawk
298. The Weasel and the Mice
299. The Mule
300. The Swollen Fox H
301. The Woman and Her Hen
302. The Charcoal-Burner and the Fuller
303. The Geese and the Cranes
304. The Sparrow and the Hare
305. The Trumpeter Taken Prisoner

The Buffoon and the Countryman

A RICH NOBLEMAN once opened the theatres without charge to the people, and gave a public notice that he would handsomely reward any person who invented a new amusement for the occasion. Various public performers contended for the prize. Among them came a buffoon well known among the populace for his jokes, and said that he had a kind of entertainment which had never been brought out on any stage before. This report being spread about made a great stir, and the theatre was crowded in every part. The buffoon appeared alone on the platform, without any apparatus or confederates, and the very sense of expectation caused an intense silence. He suddenly bent his head towards his bosom and imitated the squeaking of a little pig so admirably with his voice that the audience declared he had a porker under his cloak, and demanded that it should be shaken out. When that was done and nothing was found, they cheered the actor, and loaded him with the loudest applause. A Countryman in the crowd, observing all that has passed, said,
"So help me, Herakles, he shall not beat me at that trick!" and at once proclaimed that he would do the same thing on the next day, though in a much more natural way. On the morrow a still larger crowd assembled in the theatre, but now partiality for their favourite actor very generally prevailed, and the audience came rather to ridicule the countryman than to see the spectacle. Both of the performers appeared on the stage. The buffoon grunted and squeaked away first, and obtained, as on the preceding day, the applause and cheers of the spectators. Next the countryman commenced, and pretending that he concealed a little pig beneath his clothes (which in truth he did, but not suspected by the audience ) contrived to take hold of and to pull his ear causing the pig to squeak. The crowd, however, cried out with one consent that the buffoon had given a far more exact imitation, and clamoured for the countryman to be kicked out of the theatre. On this the rustic produced the little pig from his cloak and showed by the most positive proof the greatness of their mistake.
"Look here," he said, "this shows what sort of judges you are."

The Dolphins, the Whales, and the Sprat

THE DOLPHINS and Whales waged a fierce war with each other. When the battle was at its height, a sprat lifted its head out of the waves and said that he would reconcile their differences if they would accept him as an umpire. One of the dolphins replied,
"We would far rather be destroyed in our battle with each other than admit any interference from you in our affairs."

The Image of Sir Transporter and the Carpenter

A VERY POOR MAN, a carpenter by trade, had a wooden image of Sir Transporter, before which he made offerings day by day, and begged the idol to make him rich, but in spite of his entreaties he became poorer and poorer. At last, being very angry, he took his image down from its pedestal and dashed it against the wall. When its head was knocked off, out came a stream of gold, which the carpenter quickly picked up and said,
"Well, I think you are altogether contradictory and unreasonable; for when I paid you honour, I reaped no benefits: but now that I maltreat you I am loaded with an abundance of riches."

The Mole and His Mother

A MOLE, a creature blind from birth, once said to his mother:
"I am sure than I can see, Mother!" In the desire to prove to him his mistake, his mother placed before him a few grains of frankincense, and asked, "What is it?"
The young mole said, "It is a pebble."
His mother exclaimed: "My son, I am afraid that you are not only blind, but that you have lost your sense of smell.

The Mules and the Robbers

TWO MULES well-laden with packs were trudging along. One carried baskets filled with money, the other sacks weighted with grain. The mule carrying the treasure walked with head erect, as if conscious of the value of his burden, and tossed up and down the clear-toned bells fastened to his neck. His companion followed with quiet and easy step. All of a sudden Robbers rushed on them from their hiding-places, and in the scuffle with their owners, wounded with a sword the mule carrying the treasure, which they greedily seized while taking no notice of the grain. The mule which had been robbed and wounded bewailed his misfortunes. The other replied,
"I am indeed glad that I was thought so little of, for I have lost nothing, nor am I hurt with any wound."

The Thrush and the Fowler

A THRUSH was feeding on a myrtle-tree and did not move from it because its berries were so delicious. A Fowler observed her staying so long in one spot, and having well bird-limed his reeds, caught her. The thrush, being at the point of death, exclaimed,
"Foolish creature that I am! For the sake of a little pleasant food I have deprived myself of my life."

The Two Frogs

TWO FROGS dwelt in the same pool. When the pool dried up under the summer's heat, they left it and set out together for another home. As they went along they chanced to pass a deep well, amply supplied with water, and when they saw it, one of the frogs said to the other, "Let us descend and make our abode in this well: it will furnish us with shelter and food."
The other replied with greater caution, "But suppose the water should fail us. How can we get out again from so great a depth?"
❖ Do nothing without a regard to the consequences.

Truth and the Traveller

A WAYFARING MAN, travelling in the desert, met a woman standing alone and terribly dejected. He asked of her, "Who are you?"
"My name is Truth," she replied.
"And for what cause," he asked, "have you left the city to dwell alone here in the wilderness?"
She made answer, "Because in former times, falsehood was with few, but is now with all men."

The Bull and the Calf

A BULL was striving with all his might to squeeze himself through a narrow passage which led to his stall. A young Calf came up, and offered to go before and show him the way by which he could manage to pass.
"Save yourself the trouble," said the bull; "I knew that way long before you were born."

The Mice and the Weasels

THE WEASELS and the mice waged a perpetual war with each other, in which much blood was shed. The weasels were always the victors. The mice thought that the cause of their frequent defeats was that they had no leaders set apart from the general army to command them, and that they were exposed to dangers from lack of discipline.
They therefore chose as leaders mice that were most renowned for their family descent, strength, and counsel, as well as those most noted for their courage in the fight, so that they might be better marshalled in battle array and formed into troops, regiments, and battalions.
When all this was done, and the army disciplined, and the herald mouse had duly proclaimed war by challenging the weasels, the newly chosen generals bound their heads with straws, that they might be more conspicuous to all their troops. Scarcely had the battle begun, when a great rout overwhelmed the mice, who scampered off as fast as they could to their holes. The generals, not being able to get in on account of the ornaments on their heads, were all captured and eaten by the weasels.
❖ The more honour the more danger.

The Mouse and the Bull

A BULL was bitten by a mouse and, angered by the wound, tried to capture him. But the mouse reached his hole in safety. Though the bull dug into the walls with his horns, he tired before he could rout out the mouse, and crouching down, went to sleep outside the hole. The mouse peeped out, crept furtively up his flank, and again biting him, retreated to his hole. The bull rising up, and not knowing what to do, was sadly perplexed. At which the mouse said,
"The great do not always prevail. There are times when the small and lowly are the strongest to do mischief."

The Mouse, the Frog, and the Hawk

A MOUSE who always lived on the land, by an unlucky chance formed an intimate acquaintance with a frog, who lived for the most part in the water. The frog, one day intent on mischief, bound the foot of the mouse tightly to his own. Thus joined together, the frog first of all led his friend the mouse to the meadow where they were used to find their food. After this, he gradually led him towards the pool in which he lived, till reaching the very brink, he suddenly jumped in, dragging the mouse with him. The frog enjoyed the water amazingly, and swam croaking about, as if he had done a good deed. The unhappy Mouse was soon suffocated by the water, and his dead body floated about on the surface, tied to the foot of the frog. A Hawk observed it, and, pouncing on it with his talons, carried it aloft. The frog, being still fastened to the leg of the mouse, was also carried off a prisoner, and was eaten by the hawk.
❖ Harm hatch, harm catch.

The Weasel and the Mice

A WEASEL, inactive from age and infirmities, was not able to catch mice as he once did. He therefore rolled himself in flour and lay down in a dark corner. A Mouse, supposing him to be food, leaped on him, and was instantly caught and squeezed to death. Another perished in a similar manner, and then a third, and still others after them. A very old Mouse, who had escaped many a trap and snare, observed from a safe distance the trick of his crafty foe and said,
"Ah! you that lie there, may you prosper just in the same proportion as you are what you pretend to be!"

The Mule

A MULE, frolicsome from lack of work and from too much corn, galloped about in a very extravagant manner, and said to himself:
"My father surely was a high-mettled racer, and I am his own child in speed and spirit."
On the next day, being driven a long journey, and feeling very wearied, he exclaimed in a disconsolate tone:
"I must have made a mistake; my father, after all, could have been only a donkey."

The Swollen Fox

A VERY HUNGRY FOX, seeing some bread and meat left by shepherds in the hollow of an oak, crept into the hole and made a hearty meal. When he finished, he was so full that he was not able to get out, and began to groan and lament his fate. Another Fox passing by heard his cries, and coming up, asked the cause of his complaining. On learning what had happened, he said to him,
"Ah, you will have to remain there, my friend, till you become such as you were when you crept in, and then you will easily get out."

A Case for Patience

A half-starved fox, who saw in the hollow of an oak tree some bread and meat left there by shepherds, crept in and ate it. With his stomach distended he could not get out again. Another fox, passing by and hearing his cries and lamentations, came up and asked what was the matter. On being told, he said:
"Well, stay there till you are as thin as you were when you went in; then you will get out quite easily."
❖ This tale shows how time solves difficult sex problems.

The Woman and Her Hen

A WOMAN had a hen that gave her an egg every day. She often thought of how she might get two eggs daily instead of one, and at last, to gain her purpose, determined to give the hen a double allowance of barley. From that day the hen became fat and sleek, and never once laid another egg.

The Charcoal-Burner and the Fuller

A CHARCOAL-BURNER carried on his trade in his own house. One day he met a friend, a fuller, and begged him to come and live with him, saying that they should be far better neighbours and that their housekeeping expenses would be lessened.
The fuller replied, "The arrangement is impossible as far as I am concerned, for whatever I should whiten, you would at once blacken again with your charcoal."
❖ Like may draw like.

The Geese and the Cranes

THE GEESE and the cranes were feeding in the same meadow, when a birdcatcher came to ensnare them in his nets. The cranes, being light of wing, fled away at his approach; while the geese, being slower of flight and heavier in their bodies, were captured.

The Sparrow and the Hare

A HARE pounced on by an eagle sobbed very much and uttered cries like a child. A Sparrow upbraided her and said,
"Where now is your remarkable swiftness of foot? Why were your feet so slow?"
While the sparrow was thus speaking, a hawk suddenly seized him and killed him. The hare was comforted in her death, and expiring said,
"Ah! you who so lately, when you supposed yourself safe, exulted over my calamity, have now reason to deplore a similar misfortune."

The Trumpeter Taken Prisoner

A TRUMPETER, bravely leading on the soldiers, was captured by the enemy. He cried out to his captors, "Pray spare me, and do not take my life without cause or without inquiry. I have not slain a single man of your troop. I have no arms, and carry nothing but this one brass trumpet."
"That is the very reason for which you should be put to death," they said; "for, while you do not fight yourself, your trumpet stirs all the others to battle."


306. The Brazier and His Dog
307. The Doe and the Lion
308. The Fowler and the Viper
309. The Bald Man and the Fly
310. The Belly and the Members
311. The Gamecocks and the Partridge
312. The Ox and the Frog
313. The Viper and the File
314. The King's Son and the Painted Lion
315. The Labourer and the Snake
316. The Swallow and the Crow
317. The Peasant and the Eagle
318. The Seagull and the Kite
319. A Black Grouse Enters a Technical University

The Brazier and His Dog

A BRAZIER had a little dog, which was a great favourite with his master, and his constant companion. While he hammered away at his metals the dog slept; but when, on the other hand, he went to dinner and began to eat, the dog woke up and wagged his tail, as if he would ask for a share of his meal. His master one day, pretending to be angry and shaking his stick at him, said,
"You wretched little sluggard! what shall I do to you? While I am hammering on the anvil, you sleep on the mat; and when I begin to eat after my toil, you wake up and wag your tail for food. Don't you know that labour is the source of every blessing, and that none but those who work are entitled to eat?"
❖ False accusations are not a slight matter.
❖ Some times false accusations don't matter.

The Doe and the Lion

A DOE hard pressed by hunters sought refuge in a cave belonging to a lion. The lion concealed himself on seeing her approach, but when she was safe within the cave, sprang on her and tore her to pieces.
"Woe is me," exclaimed the doe, "who have escaped from man, only to throw myself into the mouth of a wild beast?"
❖ In avoiding one evil, care must be taken not to fall into another.

The Fowler and the Viper

A FOWLER, taking his bird-lime and his twigs, went out to catch birds. Seeing a thrush sitting on a tree, he wished to take it, and fitting his twigs to a proper length, watched intently, having his whole thoughts directed towards the sky. While thus looking upwards, he unknowingly trod on a viper asleep just before his feet. The viper, turning about, stung him, and falling into a swoon, the man said to himself, "Woe is me! that while I purposed to hunt another, I am myself fallen unawares into the snares of death."

The Bald Man and the Fly

A FLY bit the bare head of a bald man who, trying to destroy it, gave himself a heavy slap. Escaping, the fly said mockingly,
"You who have wished to revenge, even with death, the prick of a tiny insect, see what you have done to yourself to add insult to injury?"
The bald man replied,
"I can easily make peace with myself, because I know there was no intention to hurt. But you, an ill-favoured and contemptible insect who delights in sucking human blood, I wish that I could have killed you even if I had incurred a heavier penalty."

The Belly and the Members

THE MEMBERS of the body rebelled against the belly, and said,
"Why should we be always engaged in administering to your wants, while you do nothing but rest and enjoy yourself in luxury?"
The members carried out their resolve and refused to assist the belly. The whole body quickly became debilitated, and the hands, feet, mouth, and eyes, when too late, repented of their folly.

The Gamecocks and the Partridge

A MAN had two Gamecocks in his poultry-yard. One day by chance he found a tame partridge for sale. He bought it and brought it home to be reared with his Gamecocks. When the partridge was put into the poultry-yard, they struck at it and followed it about, so that the partridge became grievously troubled and supposed that he was thus evilly treated because he was a stranger. Not long afterwards he saw the cocks fighting together and not separating before one had well beaten the other. He then said to himself, "I shall no longer distress myself at being struck at by these gamecocks, when I see that they cannot even refrain from quarrelling with each other."

The Ox and the Frog

AN OX drinking at a pool trod on a brood of young frogs and crushed one of them to death. The mother coming up, and missing one of her sons, asked of his brothers what had become of him.
"He is dead, dear Mother; for just now a very huge beast with four great feet came to the pool and crushed him to death with his cloven heel."
The frog, puffing herself out, asked, "if the beast was as big as that in size."
"Cease, Mother, to puff yourself out," said her son, "and do not be angry; for you would, I assure you, sooner burst than successfully imitate the hugeness of that monster."

The Viper and the File

A LION, entering the workshop of a smith, sought from the tools the means of satisfying his hunger. He more particularly addressed himself to a file, and asked of him the favour of a meal. The file replied,
"You must indeed be a simple-minded fellow if you expect to get anything from me, who am used to take from everyone, and never to give anything in return."

The King's Son and the Painted Lion

A KING, whose only son was fond of martial exercises, had a dream in which he was warned that his son would be killed by a lion. Afraid the dream should prove true, he built for his son a pleasant palace and adorned its walls for his amusement with all kinds of life-sized animals, among which was the picture of a lion. When the young Prince saw this, his grief at being thus confined burst out afresh, and, standing near the lion, he said:
"You most detestable of animals! through a lying dream of my father's, which he saw in his sleep, I am shut up on your account in this palace as if I had been a girl: what shall I now do to you?"
With these words he stretched out his hands toward a thorn-tree, meaning to cut a stick from its branches so that he might beat the lion. But one of the tree's prickles pierced his finger and caused great pain and inflammation, so that the young Prince fell down in a fainting fit. A violent fever suddenly set in, from which he died not many days later.
❖ We had better bear our troubles bravely than try to stupidly escape them.

The Labourer and the Snake

A SNAKE, having made his hole close to the porch of a cottage, inflicted a mortal bite on the cottager's infant son. Grieving over his loss, the father resolved to kill the snake. The next day, when it came out of its hole for food, he took up his axe, but by swinging too hastily, missed its head and cut off only the end of its tail. After some time the cottager, afraid that the snake would bite him also, endeavoured to make peace, and placed some bread and salt in the hole. The snake, slightly hissing, said:
"There can henceforth be no peace between us; for whenever I see you I shall remember the loss of my tail, and whenever you see me you will be thinking of the death of your son."
❖ No one truly forgets injuries in the presence of him who caused the injury.

The Swallow and the Crow

THE SWALLOW and the crow had a contention about their plumage. The crow put an end to the dispute by saying,
"Your feathers are all very well in the spring, but mine protect me against the winter."
❖ Fair weather friends are not worth much.

The Peasant and the Eagle

A PEASANT found an eagle captured in a trap, and much admiring the bird, set him free. The eagle did not prove ungrateful to his deliverer, for seeing the peasant sitting under a wall which was not safe, he flew toward him and with his talons snatched a bundle from his head. When the peasant rose in pursuit, the eagle let the bundle fall again. Taking it up, the man returned to the same place, to find that the wall under which he had been sitting had fallen to pieces; and he marvelled at the service rendered him by the eagle.

The Seagull and the Kite

A SEAGULL having bolted down too large a fish, burst its deep gullet-bag and lay down on the shore to die. A kite saw him and exclaimed:
"You richly deserve your fate; for a bird of the air has no business to seek its food from the sea."
❖ Every man should be content to mind his own business.

A Black Grouse Enters a Technical University

DURING a lecture held in the front stone building at the technical university at Trondheim, a black grouse crashed through a window pane with alarming speed and banged to the floor.
An easy prey, she ended in someone's supper.
❖ The formal permission to enter a university may not be wholly done away with before entering.

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