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                             Aesop's Fables

                        by George Fyler Townsend

                         The Wolf and the Lamb

    WOLF, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not  to  lay
violent hands on him, but to find some plea to justify  to  the  Lamb  the
Wolf's right to eat him. He thus addressed him:  "Sirrah,  last  year  you
grossly insulted me." "Indeed," bleated the Lamb in  a  mournful  tone  of
voice, "I was not then born." Then said the Wolf, "You feed in my pasture."
"No, good sir," replied the Lamb, "I have not yet tasted  grass."  Again
said the Wolf, "You drink of my well." "No," exclaimed the Lamb, "I  never
yet drank water, for as yet my mother's milk is both food and drink to me."
Upon which the Wolf seized him and ate him up, saying,  "Well!  I  won't
remain supperless, even though you refute every one  of  my  imputations."
The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny.

                         The Bat and the Weasels

    A BAT who fell upon the ground and was caught by a Weasel pleaded  to
be spared his life. The Weasel refused, saying that he was by  nature  the
enemy of all birds. The Bat assured him that he was  not  a  bird,  but  a
mouse, and thus was set free. Shortly afterwards the Bat again fell to the
ground and was caught by another Weasel, whom he likewise entreated not to
eat him. The Weasel said that he had a special hostility to mice. The  Bat
assured him that he was not a mouse, but a bat, and  thus  a  second  time
    It is wise to turn circumstances to good account.

                      The Ass and the Grasshopper

    AN ASS having heard some Grasshoppers chirping, was highly enchanted;
and, desiring to possess the same charms of melody, demanded what sort  of
food they lived on to give them such beautiful voices. They replied,  "The
dew." The Ass resolved that he would live only upon dew, and  in  a  short
time died of hunger.

                         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 st ropes to the ground. The Mouse, recognizing his  roar,  came  gnawed
the rope with his teeth, and set him free, exclaim
    "You ridiculed the idea of my ever being able to help you,  expecting
to receive from me any repayment of your favor; I now you know that it  is
possible for even a Mouse to con benefits on a Lion."

                     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 entreated him  to  come  and  live  with  him,
saying  that  they  should  be  far  better  neighbors  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 immediately blacken again with your charcoal."
    Like will draw like.

                          The Father and His Sons

    A FATHER had a family of sons who were perpetually  quarreling  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, upon 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 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!"

                         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 thee, and not I, he
would have taken thee up, and have set thee in thy  first  estate;  but  I
have found thee for no purpose. I would rather have  one  barleycorn  than
all the jewels in the world."

                         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  for  a  general
assembly of all the birds  and  beasts,  and  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, in which the weak shall take their place with impunity by the side of
the strong." And after the Hare said this, he ran for his life.

                         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 sufficient 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 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  in  the
hope that the fish, attracted by his melody, would  of  their  own  accord
dance into his net, which he had placed below. At last, having long waited
in vain, he laid aside his flute, and casting his net into the  sea,  made
an excellent haul of fish. When he saw them leaping about in the net  upon
the rock he said: "O you most perverse creatures, when I piped  you  would
not dance, but now that I have ceased you do so merrily."

                        Hercules and the Wagoner

    A CARTER was driving a wagon along a country lane,  when  the  wheels
sank down deep into a rut. The rustic driver, stupefied and aghast,  stood
looking at the wagon, and did nothing but utter loud cries to Hercules  to
come and help him. Hercules, it is said, appeared and thus addressed  him:
"Put your shoulders to the wheels, my man.  Goad  on  your  bullocks,  and
never more pray to me for help, until you have  done  your  best  to  help
yourself, or depend upon it you will henceforth pray in vain."
    Self-help is the best help.

                      The Ants and the Grasshopper

    THE ANTS were spending a fine winter's day drying grain collected  in
the summertime. A  Grasshopper,  perishing  with  famine,  passed  by  and
earnestly begged for a little food. The Ants inquired of him, "Why did you
not treasure up food during the summer?' He replied, "I  had  not  leisure
enough. I passed the days in singing." They then said in derision: "If you
were foolish enough to sing all the summer, you must dance  supperless  to
bed in the winter."

                        The Traveler and His Dog

    A TRAVELER 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: "O, master! I am quite ready;  it  is  you  for
whom I am waiting."
    The loiterer often blames delay on his more active friend.

                        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 immediately 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 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 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 Hermes, 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."

                        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 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
neighboring hedge lifted up its voice, and said in a boastful tone: "Pray,
my dear friends, in my presence at least cease from such vain disputings."

                       The Farmer and the Stork

    A FARMER placed nets on his newly-sown plowlands 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.

                       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 am rightly served for pitying a scoundrel."
    The greatest kindness will not bind the ungrateful.

                        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  defense;
why, then, O 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 Bear and the Fox

    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 Fox  hearing
these words said with a smile to the Bear, "Oh! that  you  would  eat  the
dead and not the living."

                       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 Mountain in Labor

    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 Ass, the Fox, and the Lion

    THE ASS and the Fox, having entered  into  partnership  together  for
their mutual protection, went out into the forest to hunt.  They  had  not
proceeded far when they met a  Lion.  The  Fox,  seeing  imminent  danger,
approached the Lion and promised to contrive for him the  capture  of  the
Ass if the Lion would pledge his word not to  harm  the  Fox.  Then,  upon
assuring the Ass that he would not be injured, the Fox led him to  a  deep
pit and arranged that he should fall into it. The Lion,  seeing  that  the
Ass was secured, immediately clutched the Fox, and attacked the Ass at his

                       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 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, "O foolish creatures  that  we
are, for the sake of a little pleasure we have destroyed ourselves."
    Pleasure bought with pains, hurts.

                          The Man and the Lion

    A MAN and a Lion traveled 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 traveler 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 Farmer and the Cranes

    SOME CRANES made their feeding grounds on some plowlands  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."
    If words suffice not, blows must follow.

                         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 Fox and the Goat

    A FOX one day fell into a deep  well  and  could  find  no  means  of
escape. A Goat, overcome with thirst, came to the same  well,  and  seeing
the Fox, inquired if the water was good. Concealing his sad plight under a
merry guise, the Fox indulged in a lavish praise 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 a scheme for their common escape. "If," said he, "you will place
your forefeet upon the wall and bend your head, I will run  up  your  back
and escape, and will help you out afterwards." The Goat  readily  assented
and the Fox leaped upon 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 before you
had inspected the way up, nor have exposed yourself to dangers from  which
you had no means of escape."
    Look before you leap.

                    The Bear and the Two Travelers

    TWO MEN were traveling together, when a Bear  suddenly  met  them  on
their path. One of them climbed up  quickly  into  a  tree  and  concealed
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 the appearance  of
death 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  Traveler
descended from the tree, and jocularly inquired of 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 at  the  approach  of
    Misfortune tests the sincerity of friends.

                      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 labor, and we, not you, ought to cry out."
    Those who suffer most cry out the least.

                         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 Raven and the Swan

    A RAVEN saw a Swan  and  desired  to  secure  for  himself  the  same
beautiful plumage. Supposing that the Swan's splendid  white  color  arose
from his washing in the water in which he swam, the Raven left the  altars
in the neighborhood where he picked up his living, and took  up  residence
in the lakes and pools. But cleansing his feathers as often as  he  would,
he could not change their color, while through want of food he perished.
    Change of habit cannot alter Nature.

                      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 attempt to hide things which cannot be hid.

                              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 neighbor, seeing him  overcome  with
grief and learning the cause, said, "Pray 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 Sick 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 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 Ass and the Lapdog

    A MAN had an Ass, and a Maltese Lapdog, a very great beauty. The  Ass
was left in a stable and had plenty of oats and hay to eat,  just  as  any
other Ass would. The Lapdog knew many tricks and was a great favorite with
his master, who often fondled him and seldom  went  out  to  dine  without
bringing him home some tidbit to eat. The Ass, on the contrary,  had  much
work to do in grinding the corn-mill and in carrying wood from the  forest
or burdens from the  farm.  He  often  lamented  his  own  hard  fate  and
contrasted it with the luxury and idleness of the Lapdog, till at last one
day he broke his cords and halter, and galloped into his  master's  house,
kicking up his heels without measure, and frisking and fawning as well  as
he could. He next tried to jump about his master as he had seen the Lapdog
do, but he broke the table and smashed all the dishes upon it to atoms. He
then attempted to lick his master, and jumped upon his back. The servants,
hearing the strange hubbub and perceiving  the  danger  of  their  master,
quickly relieved him, and drove out the Ass to his stable with  kicks  and
clubs and cuffs. The Ass, as he returned to his  stall  beaten  nearly  to
death, thus lamented: "I have brought it all on myself! Why  could  I  not
have been contented to labor with my companions, and not wish to  be  idle
all the day like that useless little Lapdog!"

                               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
    The value is in the worth, not in the number.

                           The Boasting Traveler

    A MAN who had  traveled  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 Rhodes he had leaped to such a  distance  that
no man of his day could leap anywhere near him as to that, there  were  in
Rhodes 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 Rhodes,  and
leap for us."

                           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 nighttime 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 labors. The Cat replied,  "Although  you
abound in specious apologies, I shall not remain supperless"; and he  made
a meal of him.

                   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."
To this 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 Boy and the Filberts

    A BOY put his hand into a pitcher full of  filberts.  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 filberts, 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 quantity, and you will readily draw out your hand."
    Do not attempt too much at once.

                           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  upon  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  upon  him  with
his club, and drove him away into the forest.

                         The Laborer 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,  endeavored  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

                      The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

    ONCE UPON 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 obtain meat for the next day, mistakenly caught up the
Wolf instead of a sheep, and killed him instantly.
    Harm seek. harm find.

                           The Ass and the Mule

    A MULETEER set forth on a journey, driving before him an  Ass  and  a
Mule, both well laden. The Ass, as long as he traveled  along  the  plain,
carried his load with ease, but when he began to ascend the steep path  of
the mountain, felt his load to be more than he could  bear.  He  entreated
his companion to relieve him of a small portion, that he might carry  home
the rest; but the Mule paid no attention to the request. The  Ass  shortly
afterwards fell down dead under his burden. Not knowing what else to do in
so wild a region, the Muleteer placed upon the Mule the  load  carried  by
the Ass in addition to his own, and at the top of all placed the  hide  of
the Ass, after he had skinned him. The Mule, groaning  beneath  his  heavy
burden, said to himself: "I am treated according to my deserts. If  I  had
only been willing to assist the Ass a little in his need, I should not now
be bearing, together with his burden, himself as well."

                       The Frogs Asking for a King

    THE FROGS, grieved at having no established Ruler,  sent  ambassadors
to Jupiter 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 realized 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 Jupiter 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 Jupiter  to
beg him to choose for them still another King.  Jupiter,  displeased  with
all their complaints, sent a Heron, who preyed upon the Frogs day  by  day
till there were none left to croak upon the lake.

                         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 Sick Stag

    A SICK 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 Salt Merchant and His Ass

    A PEDDLER drove his Ass to the seashore to buy salt.  His  road  home
lay across a stream into which his Ass,  making  a  false  step,  fell  by
accident and rose up again with his  load  considerably  lighter,  as  the
water melted the sack. The Peddler retraced his  steps  and  refilled  his
panniers with a larger quantity of salt than before. When he came again to
the stream, the Ass fell down on purpose in the same spot, and,  regaining
his feet with the weight of his load much diminished, brayed  triumphantly
as if he had obtained what he desired. The Peddler saw through  his  trick
and drove him for the third time to the coast, where he bought a cargo  of
sponges instead of salt. The Ass, again playing the  fool,  fell  down  on
purpose when he reached the stream, but the sponges  became  swollen  with
water, greatly increasing his load. And thus his trick  recoiled  on  him,
for he now carried on his back a double burden.

                       The Oxen and the Butchers

    THE OXEN once upon  a  time  sought  to  destroy  the  Butchers,  who
practiced 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
skillful hands, and with no unnecessary pain. If we get rid  of  them,  we
shall fall into the hands of  unskillful  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 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." "'Tis not the Mouse I  fear,"  said
the Lion; "I resent his familiarity and ill-breeding."
    Little liberties are great offenses.

                            The Vain Jackdaw

    JUPITER DETERMINED, it is said, to create 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  Jupiter,  the
Jackdaw also made his appearance in his many feathered  finery.  But  when
Jupiter 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.

                     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 sufficient 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.

                           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 is often mistaken for fame.

                     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 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."
    Whatever you do, do with all your might.

                     The Man and His Two Sweethearts

    A MIDDLE-AGED MAN, whose hair had begun to  turn  gray,  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  gray
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 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 neighbor  ran
to the well, and learning what had happened said: "Hark  ye,  old  fellow,
why, in striving to pry into what is in heaven, do you not manage  to  see
what is on earth?'

                          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 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 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 upon him and carried him  off  in
his talons. The vanquished Cock immediately came out of  his  corner,  and
ruled henceforth with undisputed mastery.
    Pride goes before destruction.

                        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 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 honor, 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 counseled him to  lay  hold  of  it.  The  Monkey  approached
carelessly and was caught in the trap; and on  his  accusing  the  Fox  of
purposely leading him into the snare, she replied, "O Monkey, and are you,
with such a mind as yours, going to be King over the Beasts?"

                         The Horse and His Rider

    A HORSE SOLDIER took the utmost pains with his charger.  As  long  as
the war lasted, he looked upon 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
an Ass; and how can you expect that I can again turn in a moment  from  an
Ass to a Horse?'

                        The Belly and the Members

    THE MEMBERS of the Body rebelled against the Belly,  and  said,  "Why
should we be perpetually engaged in administering to your wants, while you
do  nothing  but  take  your  rest,  and  enjoy  yourself  in  luxury  and
self-indulgence?' The Members carried out their resolve and refused  their
assistance to the Belly. The whole Body quickly  became  debilitated,  and
the hands, feet, mouth, and eyes, when too late, repented of their folly.

                         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."

                         Jupiter and the Monkey

    JUPITER ISSUED a proclamation to all the beasts  of  the  forest  and
promised a royal reward to the one whose offspring should  be  deemed  the
handsomest. The Monkey came with  the  rest  and  presented,  with  all  a
mother's tenderness, a flat-nosed, hairless, ill-featured young Monkey  as
a candidate for the promised reward. A general laugh saluted  her  on  the
presentation of her son. She resolutely said, "I know not whether  Jupiter
will allot the prize to my son, but this I do know, that he is at least in
the eyes of me his mother, the dearest, handsomest, and most beautiful  of

                     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  labor,  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.

                    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 neighbors 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: "Pray, 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.
    There is no believing a liar, even when he speaks the truth.

                        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
inquired 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."

                         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 immediately began  to  taunt  and  revile  him.  The  Wolf,
looking up, said, "Sirrah! I hear thee: yet it is not thou who mockest me,
but the roof on which thou art standing."
    Time and place often give the advantage to the weak over the strong.

                         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,
inquired 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,
inquired, "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

                        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  neighboring  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."

                     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 inquired 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 inquired 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 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  labor  by  an
extraordinary and superabundant crop.

                          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 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  labor.
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 honor 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 presently to be sacrificed."

             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

                        The Thief and His Mother

    A BOY stole a lesson-book from one of his schoolfellows 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."

                         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" immediately 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 upon
my shoulders."

                       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 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 accustomed  to  find  their
food. After this, he gradually led him towards the pool in which he lived,
until 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  upon  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 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 upon the  evil-disposed  increase  their  means  of
injuring you.

                              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, "Pray  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."
    Equals make the best friends.

                         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 are easily seen through.

                              The Aethiop

    THE PURCHASER of a black servant was persuaded that the color of  his
skin arose from dirt contracted through the neglect of his former masters.
On bringing him home he resorted to every means of cleaning, and subjected
the man to incessant scrubbings. The servant caught a severe cold, but  he
never changed his color or complexion.
    What's bred in the bone will stick to the flesh.

                        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 skillful  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.

                       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 neighbor 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 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 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 upon 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."

                               The Two Dogs

    A MAN had two dogs: a Hound, trained to assist him in his sports, and
a Housedog, taught to watch the house. When he returned home after a  good
day's sport, he always gave the Housedog 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 labor, while you, who do not  assist  in
the chase, luxuriate on the fruits of my exertions." The Housedog replied,
"Do not blame me, my friend, but find fault with the master, who  has  not
taught me to labor, but to depend for subsistence on the labor of others."
    Children are not to be blamed for the faults of their parents.

                        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
favorable 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 laborers 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 until  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 laborers, he ordered that the
Stag should be seized and killed.

                   The Hawk, the Kite, and the Pigeons

    THE PIGEONS, terrified by the appearance of a Kite, called  upon  the
Hawk to defend them. He at once consented. 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 upon in a whole year.
    Avoid a remedy that is worse than the disease.

                         The Widow and the Sheep

    A CERTAIN poor widow  had  one  solitary  Sheep.  At  shearing  time,
wishing to take his fleece and to avoid expense, she sheared him  herself,
but used the shears so unskillfully 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."
    The least outlay is not always the greatest gain.

                        The Wild Ass and the Lion

    A WILD ASS 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 Ass with his strength, while the Wild Ass  gave  the  Lion
the benefit of his greater speed. When they had taken as  many  beasts  as
their necessities required, 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 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 Sick Kite

    A KITE, sick unto death, said to his mother: "O Mother! do not mourn,
but at once invoke the gods that my life may be prolonged."  She  replied,
"Alas! my son, which of the gods do you think will pity you? Is there  one
whom you have not outraged by filching from their very altars  a  part  of
the sacrifice offered up to them?'
    We must make friends in prosperity if we would  have  their  help  in

                         The Lion and the Dolphin

    A LION roaming by the seashore saw a Dolphin lift up its head out  of
the waves, and suggested that they contract an alliance,  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
the inhabitants of  the  ocean.  The  Dolphin  gladly  consented  to  this
request. 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
give him assistance, was unable to do so, as he could  not  by  any  means
reach the land. The Lion abused him as a  traitor.  The  Dolphin  replied,
"Nay, my friend, blame not me, but Nature,  which,  while  giving  me  the
sovereignty of the sea, has quite denied me the power of living  upon  the

                           The Lion and the Boar

    ON A SUMMER DAY, when the great heat induced a general  thirst  among
the beasts, a Lion and a Boar came at the same moment to a small  well  to
drink. They fiercely disputed which of them should drink first,  and  were
soon engaged in the agonies of a mortal combat. When they stopped suddenly
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. They at once made up their quarrel, saying, "It is better for us to
make friends, than to become the food of Crows or Vultures."

                              The One-Eyed Doe

    A DOE blind in one eye was accustomed 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 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."

                       The Ass, the Cock, and the Lion

    AN ASS and a  Cock  were  in  a  straw-yard  together  when  a  Lion,
desperate from hunger, approached the spot. He was about  to  spring  upon
the Ass, when the Cock (to the sound of whose voice the Lion, it is  said,
has a singular aversion) crowed loudly, and the Lion fled away as fast  as
he could. The Ass, observing his trepidation at the mere crowing of a Cock
summoned courage to attack him, and galloped after him for  that  purpose.
He had run no long distance, when the Lion, turning about, seized him  and
tore him to pieces.
    False confidence often leads into danger.

                         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 marshaled 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 honor the more danger.

                             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  favor  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 Wolf and the Housedog

    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 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, "Pray  cease  to  flow
into me, and then you will not be made briny."

                             The Playful Ass

    AN ASS climbed up to the roof  of  a  building,  and  frisking  about
there, broke in the tiling. The owner went up after him and quickly  drove
him down, beating him severely with a thick wooden cudgel. The  Ass  said,
"Why, I saw the Monkey do this very thing yesterday, and you  all  laughed
heartily, as if it afforded you very great amusement."

                            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 defense. Upon 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.

                          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.

                       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  clamor  you
would raise if I were to do as you are doing!"

                  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

                        The Ass Carrying the Image

    AN ASS once carried through the streets of a  city  a  famous  wooden
Image, to be placed in one of its Temples. As he passed along,  the  crowd
made lowly prostration before the Image. The Ass, thinking that they bowed
their heads in token of respect for himself, bristled up with pride,  gave
himself airs, and refused to move another step.  The  driver,  seeing  him
thus stop, laid his whip lustily about his  shoulders  and  said,  "O  you
perverse dull-head! it is not yet come to this, that men pay worship to an
    They are not wise who give to themselves the credit due to others.

                      The Two Travelers and the Axe

    TWO MEN were journeying together. One of them picked up an  axe  that
lay upon 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 Old Lion

    A LION, worn out with years and powerless from disease,  lay  on  the
ground at the point of death. A Boar rushed upon 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 Ass 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
thee, a disgrace to Nature, is indeed to die a double death."

                               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."

                             The Bee and Jupiter

    A BEE from Mount Hymettus, the queen of the hive, ascended to Olympus
to present Jupiter some honey fresh from  her  combs.  Jupiter,  delighted
with the offering of honey, promised to give whatever she should ask.  She
therefore besought him, saying, "Give me, I pray thee, a  sting,  that  if
any mortal shall approach to take my honey, I may kill him."  Jupiter  was
much displeased, for he loved the race of man, 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 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.

                          The Seaside Travelers

    SOME TRAVELERS, 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
harbor, 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 outrun its realities.

                         The Brazier and His Dog

    A BRAZIER had a little Dog, which  was  a  great  favorite  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. Do  you  not
know that labor is the source of every blessing, and that none  but  those
who work are entitled to eat?'

                         The Ass and His Shadow

    A TRAVELER hired an Ass to convey him to a  distant  place.  The  day
being intensely hot, and the sun shining in  its  strength,  the  Traveler
stopped to rest, and sought shelter from the heat under the Shadow of  the
Ass. As this afforded only protection for one, and as the Traveler and the
owner of the Ass both claimed it, a violent dispute arose between them  as
to which of them had the right to the Shadow. The owner maintained that he
had let the Ass only, and not his Shadow. The Traveler  asserted  that  he
had, with the hire  of  the  Ass,  hired  his  Shadow  also.  The  quarrel
proceeded from words to blows, and while the men fought, the Ass  galloped
    In quarreling about the shadow we often lose the substance.

                         The Ass and His Masters

    AN ASS, belonging to an herb-seller who gave him too little food  and
too much work made a petition to Jupiter to be released from  his  present
service and provided with another master. Jupiter, after warning him  that
he would repent his request, caused  him  to  be  sold  to  a  tile-maker.
Shortly afterwards, finding that he had heavier loads to carry and  harder
work in the brick-field, he  petitioned  for  another  change  of  master.
Jupiter, telling him that it would be the last time that  he  could  grant
his request, ordained that he be sold to a tanner. The Ass found  that  he
had fallen into worse hands, and noting  his  master's  occupation,  said,
groaning: "It would have been better for me to have been either starved by
the one, or to have been overworked by the other  of  my  former  masters,
than to have been bought by my present owner, who will  even  after  I  am
dead tan my hide, and make me useful to him."

                            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 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  labor.  The  Fish,  panting
convulsively, thus entreated for his life: "O Sir, 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 should indeed  be
a very simple fellow if, for the chance of a greater uncertain  profit,  I
were to forego my present certain gain."

                         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 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."

                          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 upon 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?'

                          Mercury and the Sculptor

    MERCURY ONCE DETERMINED to learn in what esteem  he  was  held  among
mortals. For this purpose he assumed the character of a man and visited in
this disguise a Sculptor's studio having looked  at  various  statues,  he
demanded the price of two figures of Jupiter and Juno.  When  the  sum  at
which they were valued was named, he  pointed  to  a  figure  of  himself,
saying to the Sculptor, "You will certainly want much more for this, as it
is the statue of the Messenger of the Gods, and author of all your  gain."
The Sculptor replied, "Well, if you will buy these, I'll  fling  you  that
into the bargain."

                          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 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, inquired the cause of his complaining.  On  learning  what  had
happened, he said to him, "Ah, you will have to remain there,  my  friend,
until you become such as you were when you crept in,  and  then  you  will
easily get out."

                         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  inquired  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."

                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 entreated 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 expostulated 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
    Necessity knows no law.

                        The Monkey and the Fishermen

    A MONKEY perched upon 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
upon the bank. The Monkey, who is the most imitative of animals, descended
from the treetop and endeavored 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  am  rightly  served;
for what business had I who had never handled a net to try and catch fish?

                          The Flea and the Wrestler

    A FLEA settled upon the bare foot of a Wrestler and bit him,  causing
the man to call loudly upon Hercules for help. When the Flea a second time
hopped upon his foot, he groaned and said, "O Hercules! if  you  will  not
help me against a Flea, how can I hope for your assistance against greater

                                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.

                           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  upon  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 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 seizing 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 belabored ourselves  only  to  serve
the turn of a Fox."
    It sometimes happens that one man has all the toil, and  another  all
the profit.

                            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 upon 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 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 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.

                   The Philosopher, the Ants, and Mercury

    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 immediately trampled them all to death  with  his
foot. Mercury 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 hast thyself in a similar  manner  treated  these  poor

                         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 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 upon the Hare. On finding that the Hare also had run off, he said, "I
am rightly served, for having let go of the food that I had in my hand for
the chance of obtaining more."

                        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 marveled at  the  service
rendered him by the Eagle.

                   The Image of Mercury and the Carpenter

    A VERY POOR MAN, a Carpenter by trade, had a wooden image of Mercury,
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  thou
art altogether contradictory and unreasonable; for when I paid you  honor,
I reaped no benefits: but now that I maltreat you  I  am  loaded  with  an
abundance of riches."

                           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  respective
strength of a Goat and a Bull."
    It shows an evil  disposition  to  take  advantage  of  a  friend  in

                            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 upon 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 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 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 Oaks and Jupiter

    THE OAKS presented a complaint to Jupiter, 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." Jupiter 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."

                         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

                        The Traveler and Fortune

    A TRAVELER 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 is more or less master of his own fate.

                             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."

                         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?

                                 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 immediately extinguished. Its  owner  lit  it  again,  and  said:
"Boast no more, but henceforth be content to give thy  light  in  silence.
Know that not even the stars need to be relit"

                       The Lion, the Fox, and the Ass

    THE LION, the Fox and the Ass 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 Ass to allot his due portion to  each  of
the three partners in the treaty. The Ass 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  Ass.  Then
he requested the Fox to do him the favor  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 Ass, by witnessing his fate."
    Happy is the man who learns from the misfortunes of others.

              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 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 do not 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
    Misfortunes springing from ourselves are the hardest to bear.

                       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.

                          The Ass and the Frogs

    AN ASS, carrying a load of wood, passed through a  pond.  As  he  was
crossing through the water he lost his footing, stumbled and fell, and not
being able to rise on account of his load,  groaned  heavily.  Some  Frogs
frequenting the pool heard his lamentation, and said, "What would  you  do
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

                          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  travelers
approaching, the Crow flew up into a tree, and perching herself on one  of
the branches, cawed as loudly as she could. The travelers  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 Trees and the Axe

    A MAN came into a forest and asked the Trees to provide him a  handle
for his axe. The Trees consented 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 neighboring 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."

                          The Crab and the Fox

    A CRAB, forsaking the seashore, chose a neighboring 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 Woman and Her Hen

    A WOMAN possessed a Hen that gave her an egg  every  day.  She  often
pondered how she might obtain 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 Ass and the Old Shepherd

    A SHEPHERD, watching his Ass feeding in a meadow, was alarmed all  of
a sudden by the cries of the enemy. He appealed to the  Ass  to  fly  with
him, lest they should both be captured, but  the  animal  lazily  replied,
"Why should I, pray? Do you think it likely the conqueror will place on me
two sets of panniers?' "No," rejoined the Shepherd. "Then," said the  Ass,
"as long as I carry the panniers, what matters it to me whom I serve?'
    In a change of government the poor change nothing beyond the name  of
their master.

                        The Kites and the Swans

    TEE KITES of olden times, as well as the Swans, had the privilege  of
song. But having heard the neigh of the horse, they were so enchanted with
the sound, that they tried to imitate it; and, in trying  to  neigh,  they
forgot how to sing.
    The desire for imaginary benefits often involves the loss of  present

                      The Wolves and the Sheepdogs

    THE WOLVES thus addressed 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
favorably to these proposals, and, entering the den of  the  Wolves,  they
were set upon and torn to pieces.

                        The Hares and the Foxes

    THE HARES waged war with the Eagles, and called  upon  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 Bowman and Lion

    A VERY SKILLFUL BOWMAN went to the mountains in search of  game,  but
all the beasts of  the  forest  fled  at  his  approach.  The  Lion  alone
challenged him to combat. The Bowman immediately shot  out  an  arrow  and
said to the Lion: "I send thee my messenger, that  from  him  thou  mayest
learn what I myself shall be when I assail thee." 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 abide the attack of the man himself?'
    Be on guard against men who can strike from a distance.

                               The Camel

    WHEN MAN first saw the Camel, he was so frightened at his  vast  size
that he ran away. After a time, perceiving the meekness and gentleness  of
the beast's temper, he summoned  courage  enough  to  approach  him.  Soon
afterwards, observing that  he  was  an  animal  altogether  deficient  in
spirit, he assumed such boldness as to put a bridle in his mouth,  and  to
let a child drive him.
    Use serves to overcome dread.

                        The Wasp and the Snake

    A WASP seated himself upon 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."

                         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 upon 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 colors. 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 know not whether to trust  or  distrust

                         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 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 accustomed 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
    Two blacks do not make one white.

                      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 colors of the rainbow; while you have
not a bit of color 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 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 upon him. A Hedgehog, passing by, saw his anguish and inquired  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 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  upon  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 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  know
not, sir, when I got this habit of yawning, nor whether these  attacks  of
howling were inflicted on me as a judgment 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, attempted to run away. The  Thief  laid
hold of his coat and entreated 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.
    Every tale is not to be believed.

                               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 an ass."

                        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 am rightly
served, for I should not have maltreated the Vine that saved me."

                       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.

                        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, until  he  brought
the water within his reach and thus saved his life.
    Necessity is the mother of invention.

                               The Two Frogs

    TWO FROGS were neighbors. 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 entreated 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
    A willful man will have his way to his own hurt.

                          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 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,  "O  wretched  me!
that those whom I cheer with my fruit should repay me with  these  painful

                          The Gnat and the Lion

    A GNAT came and said to a Lion, "I do not 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 upon 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, until 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 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 inquired if he knew  the  Piraeus  (the  famous  harbor  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 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. The Doves, as long as he was silent, 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 obtain food among  the
Doves, he returned to the Jackdaws.  They  too,  not  recognizing  him  on
account of his color. expelled him from living with them. So desiring  two
ends, he obtained neither.

                         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 consented 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 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 favor 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."

                               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 neighbor 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

                          The Fox and the Monkey

    A FOX and a Monkey were traveling 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  honor  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
    A false tale often betrays itself.

                        The Thief and the Housedog

    A THIEF came in the night to break into a house. He brought with  him
several slices of meat in order to pacify the Housedog, 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 favors  to  myself,  you  have  some
private ends to accomplish for your  own  benefit,  and  for  my  master's

                  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 favors, 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
characterized 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 labor,  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 Apes and the Two Travelers

    TWO MEN, one who always spoke  the  truth  and  the  other  who  told
nothing but lies, were traveling together and by chance came to  the  land
of Apes. One of the Apes, who had raised himself  to  be  king,  commanded
them to be seized and brought before him, that he might know what was said
of him among men. He ordered at  the  same  time  that  all  the  Apes  be
arranged in a long row on his right hand and  on  his  left,  and  that  a
throne be placed for him,  as  was  the  custom  among  men.  After  these
preparations he signified that the two men should be brought  before  him,
and greeted them with this salutation: "What sort of a king do I  seem  to
you to be, O strangers?' The Lying Traveler replied, "You  seem  to  me  a
most mighty king." "And what is your estimate of those you see around me?'
"These," he made answer, "are worthy companions of yourself, fit at  least
to be ambassadors and leaders of armies."  The  Ape  and  all  his  court,
gratified with the lie, commanded that a handsome present be given to  the
flatterer. On this the truthful Traveler thought to himself, "If so  great
a reward be given for a lie, with what gift may not  I  be  rewarded,  if,
according to my custom, I tell the truth?' The Ape quickly turned to  him.
"And pray how do I and these my friends around me seem to you?' "Thou art,"
he said, "a most excellent Ape, and all these thy companions  after  thy
example are excellent Apes too." The King of the Apes, enraged at  hearing
these truths, gave him over to the teeth and claws of his companions.

                       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  upon
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
upon 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 Hares and the Lions

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

                      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 neighbors 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 laborers, 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.

                           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 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 upon 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 Boy Bathing

    A BOY bathing in a river was in danger of being  drowned.  He  called
out to a passing traveler 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
    Counsel without help is useless.

                           The Ass and the Wolf

    AN ASS feeding in a meadow saw a Wolf approaching to seize  him,  and
immediately pretended to be lame. The Wolf, coming up, inquired the  cause
of his lameness. The Ass replied that passing through a hedge he had  trod
with his foot upon a sharp thorn. He requested that the Wolf pull it  out,
lest when he ate him it should injure his throat. The Wolf  consented  and
lifted up the foot, and was giving his whole mind to the discovery of  the
thorn, when the Ass, with his heels, kicked his teeth into his  mouth  and
galloped away. The Wolf, being thus fearfully mauled, said, "I am  rightly
served, for why did I attempt the art of  healing,  when  my  father  only
taught me the trade of a butcher?'

                          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 purchasers, 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."

                         The Fox and the Grapes

    A FAMISHED FOX saw some clusters of ripe black grapes hanging from  a
trellised vine. She resorted to all her tricks to get at them, but wearied
herself in vain, for she could not reach them. At last  she  turned  away,
hiding her disappointment and saying: "The Grapes are sour, and  not  ripe
as I thought."

                          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 inquired 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, "O Wife, 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 Peacock and Juno

    THE PEACOCK made  complaint  to  Juno  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.  The  Goddess,  to
console him, said, "But you far excel in beauty and in size. The  splendor
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
Juno, "has been assigned by the will of the Fates--to thee, beauty; to the
eagle, strength; to the nightingale, song; to the raven, favorable, and to
the  crow,  unfavorable  auguries.  These  are  all  contented  with   the
endowments allotted to them."

                      The Hawk and the Nightingale

    A NIGHTINGALE, sitting aloft upon 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."

                     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 favor 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
approached the tree, the Dog sprang out and caught him, and  tore  him  to

                          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 Lion and the Bull

    A LION, greatly desiring to capture a Bull, and yet afraid to  attack
him on account of his great size,  resorted  to  a  trick  to  ensure  his
destruction. 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,
as the Bull was in the act of reclining to eat, he  might  attack  him  to
advantage, and make his meal on him. The Bull, on approaching  the  Lion's
den, saw the huge spits and giant caldrons, and no sign  whatever  of  the
sheep, and, without saying a word, quietly took his  departure.  The  Lion
inquired why he went off so abruptly without a word of salutation  to  his
host, who had not given him any cause for offense. "I have reasons enough,"
said the Bull. "I see no indication whatever of your having  slaughtered
a sheep, while I do see very plainly every preparation for your dining  on
a bull."

                           The Goat and the Ass

    A MAN once kept a Goat and an Ass.  The  Goat,  envying  the  Ass  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 obtain rest.  The  Ass  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 upon the wounds the lungs  of  a
Goat. They at once killed the Goat, and so healed the Ass.

                    The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

    A COUNTRY MOUSE invited a Town Mouse, an intimate friend, to pay  him
a visit and partake of  his  country  fare.  As  they  were  on  the  bare
plowlands,  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 plowlands and roots from the hedgerow, where I
can live in safety, and without fear."

                      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 adjudge the matter between them. When each had
fully stated his case the Ape announced this sentence:  "I  do  not  think
you, Wolf, ever lost what you claim; and I do believe you,  Fox,  to  have
stolen what you so stoutly deny."
    The dishonest, if they act honestly, get no credit.

                      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
do not prick your neck with my sting." The Draught-Mule replied, "I do not
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 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, and the men  were  beyond
measure cast downso much at the disappointment which  had  befallen  them,
but because they had formed such very different expectations. 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."

                      The Lion and the Three Bulls

    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.
    Union is strength.

                         The Fowler and the Viper

    A FOWLER, taking his bird-lime and  his  twigs,  went  out  to  catch
birds. Seeing a thrush sitting upon 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 upon 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 Horse and the Ass

    A HORSE, proud of his fine trappings, met an Ass on the highway.  The
Ass, being heavily laden, moved slowly out of the way. "Hardly," said  the
Horse, "can I resist kicking you with my heels." The Ass held  his  peace,
and made only a silent appeal  to  the  justice  of  the  gods.  Not  long
afterwards the Horse, having become broken-winded, was sent by  his  owner
to the farm. The Ass, seeing him drawing a  dungcart,  thus  derided  him:
"Where, O boaster, are now all thy gay trappings,  thou  who  are  thyself
reduced to the condition you so lately treated with contempt?'

                          The Fox and the Mask

    A FOX entered the house of an actor and, rummaging  through  all  his
properties, came upon 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."

                         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 Blind Man and the Whelp

    A BLIND MAN was accustomed 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 do not 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 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.

                        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 in which 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  clamors  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."

                         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 untouched 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,  fail  to  get
credit for it.

                       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."

                 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 favor 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."

                          The Crow and Mercury

    A CROW caught in a snare prayed to Apollo 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 Apollo and made the same promise to offer frankincense
to Mercury. Mercury soon appeared and said  to  him,  "O  thou  most  base
fellow? how can I believe thee, who hast disowned and wronged  thy  former

                       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
Traveler wrapped his cloak around him, until at last, resigning  all  hope
of victory, the Wind called upon the Sun to see what he could do. The  Sun
suddenly shone out with all his warmth. The Traveler 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.
    Persuasion is better than Force.

                      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 inquired of the pilot which of the two ends of the ship would go
down first. On his replying that he supposed it would be the prow, the Man
said, "Death would not be grievous to me, if I could only see my Enemy die
before me."

                     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 purchased 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 quarreling with each other."

                              The Quack Frog

    A FROG once upon 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 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 traveled from  place
to place  in  every  direction,  and  have  sought  and  learnt  from  the
physicians the means of healing you?' The Lion commanded  him  immediately
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, but to good, will."

                             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.

                           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 upon him and killed him. He exclaimed with  a  too  late  repentance,
"Wretched  me!  this  overestimation  of  myself  is  the  cause   of   my

                     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  concealed  himself  in   dark
hiding-places, flying always alone and at night.

                     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."

                           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 thou  who  revilest  me;
but this mischance which has befallen me."

                           The Owl and the Birds

    AN OWL, in her wisdom, counseled 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 birdlime, 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.

                       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."

                       The Ass in the Lion's Skin

    AN ASS, having put on the Lion's skin, roamed about in the forest and
amused himself by frightening all  the  foolish  animals  he  met  in  his
wanderings. At last coming upon a Fox, he tried to frighten him also,  but
the Fox no sooner heard the sound of his voice than he exclaimed, "I might
possibly have been frightened myself, if I had not heard your bray."

                        The Sparrow and the Hare

    A HARE pounced upon by an eagle sobbed very much  and  uttered  cries
like a child. A  Sparrow  upbraided  her  and  said,  "Where  now  is  thy
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 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 do not 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

                          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  entreated  Jupiter  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. Jupiter 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 Jupiter, and are given, not alike to all, but singly, and separately;
and one by one to those who are able to discern them.

                         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

                         Mercury and the Workmen

    A WORKMAN, felling wood by the side of a river, let his axe drop - by
accident into a deep pool.  Being  thus  deprived  of  the  means  of  his
livelihood, he sat down on the bank and lamented his  hard  fate.  Mercury
appeared and demanded the cause of  his  tears.  After  he  told  him  his
misfortune, Mercury plunged into the stream, and,  bringing  up  a  golden
axe, inquired if that were the one he had lost. On his saying that it  was
not his, Mercury disappeared beneath the water  a  second  time,  returned
with a silver axe in his hand, and again asked the Workman if it were his.
When the Workman said it was not, he dived into the  pool  for  the  third
time and brought up the axe that had been lost. The Workman claimed it and
expressed his joy at its recovery. Mercury, pleased with his honesty, gave
him the golden and silver axes in addition to his own. The Workman, on his
return to his house, related to his companions all that had happened.  One
of them at once resolved to try and  secure  the  same  good  fortune  for
himself. He ran to the river and threw his axe on purpose into the pool at
the same place, and sat down on the bank to weep. Mercury appeared to  him
just as he hoped he would; and having learned  the  cause  of  his  grief,
plunged into the stream and brought up a golden axe, inquiring if  he  had
lost it. The Workman seized it greedily, and declared that  truly  it  was
the very same axe that he had lost. Mercury, displeased  at  his  knavery,
not only took away the golden axe, but refused to recover for him the  axe
he had thrown into the pool.

                         The Eagle and the Jackdaw

    AN EAGLE, flying down from his perch on a lofty rock, seized  upon  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 upon 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 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.

                  Jupiter, Neptune, Minerva, and Momus

    ACCORDING to an ancient legend, the first man was  made  by  Jupiter,
the first bull by  Neptune,  and  the  first  house  by  Minerva.  On  the
completion of their labors, a dispute arose as to which had made the  most
perfect work. They agreed to appoint Momus as judge, and to abide  by  his
decision. Momus, however, being very envious of the  handicraft  of  each,
found fault with all. He first blamed the work of Neptune 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 Jupiter, because he had not
placed the heart of man on the  outside,  that  everyone  might  read  the
thoughts of the evil disposed and take precautions  against  the  intended
mischief. And, lastly, he inveighed against Minerva because  she  had  not
contrived iron wheels in the foundation of her house, so  its  inhabitants
might more  easily  remove  if  a  neighbor  proved  unpleasant.  Jupiter,
indignant at such inveterate faultfinding, drove him from  his  office  of
judge, and expelled him from the mansions of Olympus.

                         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 upon this plan, the Eagle,  being  in  want  of
provision for her young ones, swooped down while the Fox was  out,  seized
upon 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 upon 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 Man and the Satyr

    A MAN and a Satyr 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  Satyr  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  Satyr  again  inquired  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 Satyr, "a  fellow  who  with
the same breath blows hot and cold."

                         The Ass and His Purchaser

    A MAN wished to purchase an Ass, and agreed with its  owner  that  he
should try out the animal before he bought him. He took the Ass  home  and
put him in the straw-yard with his other Asses, upon which the new  animal
left all the others and at once 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, in  so  short  a  time,  he
could have made a trial of him, he answered, "I do not  need  a  trial;  I
know that he will be just the same as the one he chose for his companion."
    A man is known by the company he keeps.

                              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
neighbors' 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 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 upon him. The Stag immediately 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 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, sir, sadly deceiving
yourself; you are indulging a hope strong enough to cheat you,  but  which
will never reward you with enjoyment."

                      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.
    Youth's first duty is reverence to parents.

                          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 inquired  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 neighbors.

                         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
consented. 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

                          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 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, "O you most ungrateful creatures! You  provide
wool to make garments for all other men, but you destroy  the  clothes  of
him who feeds you."

                        The Grasshopper and the Owl

    AN OWL, accustomed to feed at night and to sleep during the day,  was
greatly disturbed by the noise of a Grasshopper and earnestly besought her
to stop chirping. The Grasshopper refused to desist,  and  chirped  louder
and louder the more the Owl entreated. 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 Apollo, I shall indulge  myself
in drinking some nectar which Pallas lately gave me. 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.

                       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 favor 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 upon him with clubs and drove him out of the assembly.
    It is absurd to ape our betters.

                     The Peasant and the Apple-Tree

    A PEASANT had in his garden an Apple-Tree which  bore  no  fruit  but
only served as a harbor 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 entreated him not  to  cut  down  the
tree that sheltered them, but to spare it, and they would sing to him  and
lighten his labors. 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
    Self-interest alone moves some men.

                     The Two Soldiers and the Robber

    TWO SOLDIERS traveling together were set upon 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 traveling cloak said, "I'll at him,
and I'll 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 valor."

                 The Trees Under the Protection of the Gods

    THE GODS, according to an ancient  legend,  made  choice  of  certain
trees to be under their special protection. Jupiter chose the  oak,  Venus
the myrtle, Apollo the laurel, Cybele the pine, and Hercules  the  poplar.
Minerva, wondering why  they  had  preferred  trees  not  yielding  fruit,
inquired the reason for their choice. Jupiter  replied,  "It  is  lest  we
should seem to covet the honor for the  fruit."  But  said  Minerva,  "Let
anyone say what he will the olive is more dear to me  on  account  of  its
fruit." Then said Jupiter, "My daughter, you are rightly called wise;  for
unless what we do is useful, the glory of it is vain."

                        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 inquired of him why he returned wearied and
supperless, so contrary to his wont. He replied:  "Why,  forsooth!  use  I
gave credence to the words of a woman!"

                          The Ass and the Horse

    AN ASS besought a Horse to spare him a small  portion  of  his  feed.
"Yes," said the Horse; "if any remains out of what I am now eating I  will
give it you for the sake of my own superior dignity, and if you will  come
when I reach my own stall in the evening, I will give you  a  little  sack
full of barley." The Ass replied, "Thank you. But I can't think that  you,
who refuse me a little matter now. will by and by confer on me  a  greater

                         Truth and the Traveler

    A WAYFARING MAN, traveling in the desert, met a woman standing  alone
and terribly dejected. He inquired of her, "Who art  thou?"  "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 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 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.

                           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 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, beginning with yourself?'

                       The Buffoon and the Countryman

    A RICH NOBLEMAN once  opened  the  theaters  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 theater  was  crowded
in every part. The Buffoon appeared alone upon 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,  Hercules,
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  theater,  but  now
partiality for their favorite 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 clamored for  the  Countryman  to  be  kicked  out  of  the
theater. 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 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."

                       The Hunter and the Horseman

    A CERTAIN HUNTER, having snared a hare, placed it upon his  shoulders
and set out homewards. On his way he met a man on horseback who begged the
hare of him, under the  pretense  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."

                    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: "O 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 escape them.

                           The Cat and Venus

    A CAT fell in love with a handsome young man, and entreated Venus  to
change her into the form of a woman. Venus consented 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, Venus 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.  Venus  was   much
disappointed and again caused her to return to her former shape.
    Nature exceeds nurture.

                     The She-Goats and Their Beards

    THE SHE-GOATS having obtained a beard  by  request  to  Jupiter,  the
He-Goats were sorely  displeased  and  made  complaint  that  the  females
equaled them in dignity. "Allow them," said Jupiter, "to  enjoy  an  empty
honor and to assume the badge of your nobler sex, so long as they are  not
your equals in strength or courage."
    It matters little if those who are inferior to us in merit should  be
like us in outside appearances.

                         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?"

                     The Miller, His Son, and Their Ass

    A MILLER and his son were driving their Ass to a neighboring fair  to
sell him. They had not gone far when  they  met  with  a  troop  of  women
collected round a well, talking and laughing. "Look there," cried  one  of
them, "did you ever see such fellows, to be trudging  along  the  road  on
foot when they might ride?' The old man hearing this, quickly made his son
mount the Ass, and continued to walk along merrily by his side.  Presently
they came up to a group of old men in earnest debate. "There," said one of
them, "it proves what I was a-saying. What respect is shown to old age  in
these days? Do you see that idle lad riding while his old  father  has  to
walk? Get down, you young scapegrace, and let the old man rest  his  weary
limbs." Upon this the old man made his son dismount, and got  up  himself.
In this manner they had not proceeded far when they met a company of women
and children: "Why, you lazy old fellow," cried several tongues  at  once,
"how can you ride upon the beast, while that poor  little  lad  there  can
hardly keep pace by the side of you?' The good-natured Miller  immediately
took up his son behind him. They had now almost reached the  town.  "Pray,
honest friend," said a citizen, "is that Ass your own?' "Yes," replied the
old man. "O, one would not have thought so," said the other, "by  the  way
you load him. Why, you two fellows are better able to carry the poor beast
than he you." "Anything to please you," said the old man; "we can but try."
So, alighting with his son, they tied the legs of the Ass  together  and
with the help of a pole endeavored to carry him on their shoulders over  a
bridge near the entrance to the town. This entertaining sight brought  the
people in crowds to laugh at it, till the Ass, not liking  the  noise  nor
the strange handling that he was subject to, broke the  cords  that  bound
him and, tumbling off the pole, fell into the river. Upon  this,  the  old
man, vexed and ashamed, made the best of his  way  home  again,  convinced
that by endeavoring to please everybody he had pleased  nobody,  and  lost
his Ass in the bargain.

                         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."  To  this  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."

                        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 accustomed to  fasten  upon

                          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 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  sufficient  thought,  will  often  fall  into
unsuspected danger.

                           The Ant and the Dove

    AN ANT went to the bank of a river to quench its  thirst,  and  being
carried away by the rush of the stream, was on the point  of  drowning.  A
Dove sitting on a tree overhanging the water plucked a  leaf  and  let  it
fall into the stream close to her. The Ant climbed onto it and floated  in
safety to the bank. Shortly afterwards a birdcatcher came and stood  under
the tree, and laid his lime-twigs for the Dove, which sat in the branches.
The Ant, perceiving his design,  stung  him  in  the  foot.  In  pain  the
birdcatcher threw down the twigs, and the noise made the Dove take wing.

                      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, "Pray, master,  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."

                          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, "O 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 mine own hands, for  no
evil, whether it be small or large, ought to be tolerated."

                        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. Upon 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  neighbors,  you  entirely  put  an  end  to  our
    The safeguards of virtue are hateful to those with evil intentions.

                            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 do not 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 upon the  ground  and  limped  away,  howling  dreadfully.  His
yelling soon attracted other street dogs, who came up to him and  inquired
how he had enjoyed his supper. He replied, "Why, to tell you the truth,  I
drank so much wine that I remember nothing. I do not know how I got out of
the house."

                      The Travelers and the Plane-Tree

    TWO TRAVELERS, worn out  by  the  heat  of  the  summer's  sun,  laid
themselves down at noon under the widespreading branches of a  Plane-Tree.
As they rested under its shade, one of the Travelers 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 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

                   The Lion, Jupiter, and the Elephant

    THE LION wearied Jupiter with his frequent complaints. "It is true, O
Jupiter!" 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." Jupiter 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."

                          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." On which the Lamb replied, "It  would  be  better
for me to be sacrificed in the Temple than to be eaten by you."

                       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 neighbor 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 accustomed to the smell, and feeling no  manner  of  inconvenience,
made no further complaints.

                      The Shipwrecked Man and the Sea

    A SHIPWRECKED MAN, having been cast upon a certain shore, slept after
his buffetings with the deep. After a while he awoke, and looking upon 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."

                        The Mules and the Robbers

    TWO MULES well-laden with packs  were  trudging  along.  One  carried
panniers 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 upon 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 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 favor of a meal. The File replied, "You  must
indeed be a simple-minded fellow if you expect to get  anything  from  me,
who am accustomed to take from everyone, and never  to  give  anything  in

                        The Lion and the Shepherd

    A LION, roaming through a forest, trod upon a thorn.  Soon  afterward
he came up to a Shepherd and fawned upon him, wagging his tail  as  if  to
say, "I am a suppliant, and seek your aid." The Shepherd  boldly  examined
the beast, discovered the thorn, and placing his paw upon 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 upon 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.

                          The Camel and Jupiter

    THE CAMEL, when he saw the Bull adorned with horns,  envied  him  and
wished that he himself could obtain the same honors. He went  to  Jupiter,
and besought him to give him horns. Jupiter, 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.

                      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  aside,
therefore, your fears. I return as an enemy only to those who injured me."

                          The Ass and the Charger

    AN ASS congratulated a Horse on being so ungrudgingly  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, and riding him to the  charge,  rushed  into  the  very
midst  of  the  enemy.  The  Horse  was  wounded  and  fell  dead  on  the
battlefield. Then the Ass, seeing all these things, changed his mind,  and
commiserated the Horse.

                         The Eagle and His Captor

    AN EAGLE was once captured by a  man,  who  immediately  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  neighbor
purchased him and allowed his feathers  to  grow  again.  The  Eagle  took
flight, and pouncing upon a hare, brought it at once as an offering to his
benefactor. A Fox, seeing this, exclaimed, "Do not cultivate the favor  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 Bald Man and the Fly

    A FLY bit the bare head of a Bald Man who, endeavoring 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-favored  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 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 upon them, and, finding the Olive full of foliage,  it
settled upon 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.

                         The Eagle and the Kite

    AN EAGLE, overwhelmed with sorrow, sat upon 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
fulfillment 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 Ass and His Driver

    AN ASS, being driven along a high  road,  suddenly  started  off  and
bolted to the brink of a deep precipice.  While  he  was  in  the  act  of
throwing himself over, his owner seized him by the  tail,  endeavoring  to
pull him back. When the Ass persisted in his effort, the man  let  him  go
and said, "Conquer, but conquer to your cost."

                      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, "O foolish creature that I
am! For the sake of a little pleasant food I have deprived  myself  of  my

                      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 favorite alike  with  Gods  and  with
men. 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  thou  art
immortal and dost never fade, but bloomest for ever in renewed youth."

                  The Frogs' Complaint Against the Sun

    ONCE UPON A TIME, when the Sun announced  his  intention  to  take  a
wife, the Frogs lifted up their voices in  clamor  to  the  sky.  Jupiter,
disturbed by the noise of their croaking,  inquired  the  cause  of  their
complaint. 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?'

                             LIFE OF AESOP

    THE LIFE and History of Aesop is involved, like that  of  Homer,  the
most famous of Greek poets, in much  obscurity.  Sardis,  the  capital  of
Lydia; Samos, a Greek island; Mesembria, an ancient colony in Thrace;  and
Cotiaeum, the chief city  of  a  province  of  Phrygia,  contend  for  the
distinction of being the birthplace of  Aesop.  Although  the  honor  thus
claimed cannot be definitely assigned to any  one  of  these  places,  yet
there  are  a  few  incidents  now  generally  accepted  by  scholars   as
established facts, relating to the birth, life, and death of Aesop. He is,
by an almost universal consent, allowed to have been born about  the  year
620 B.C., and to have been by birth a slave. He was owned by  two  masters
in succession, both inhabitants of Samos, Xanthus and Jadmon,  the  latter
of whom gave him his liberty as a reward for his learning and wit. One  of
the privileges of a freedman in the ancient republics of Greece,  was  the
permission to take an active interest in public affairs; and  Aesop,  like
the philosophers Phaedo, Menippus, and Epictetus, in later  times,  raised
himself from the indignity of a servile condition to a  position  of  high
renown. In his desire alike to instruct and to be instructed, he travelled
through many countries, and among others came to Sardis,  the  capital  of
the famous king of Lydia, the great patron, in that day, of  learning  and
of learned men. He met at the court of Croesus  with  Solon,  Thales,  and
other sages, and is related so to have pleased his royal  master,  by  the
part he took in the conversations held with these  philosophers,  that  he
applied to him an expression which has since passed into a  proverb,  "The
Phrygian has spoken better than all."
    On the invitation of Croesus he fixed his residence  at  Sardis,  and
was employed by that monarch in various difficult and delicate affairs  of
State. In his discharge of these  commissions  he  visited  the  different
petty republics of Greece. At one time he is  found  in  Corinth,  and  at
another in Athens, endeavouring, by the narration  of  some  of  his  wise
fables, to reconcile the inhabitants of those cities to the administration
of their  respective  rulers  Periander  and  Pisistratus.  One  of  these
ambassadorial missions, undertaken at the  command  of  Croesus,  was  the
occasion of his death. Having been sent to Delphi with a large sum of gold
for  distribution  among  the  citizens,  he  was  so  provoked  at  their
covetousness that he refused to divide the money, and sent it back to  his
master. The Delphians, enraged at this treatment, accused him of  impiety,
and, in spite of his sacred character as ambassador,  executed  him  as  a
public criminal. This cruel death of Aesop was not unavenged. The citizens
of Delphi were visited with a series of  calamities,  until  they  made  a
public reparation of their crime; and,  "The  blood  of  Aesop"  became  a
wellknown adage, bearing witness to the truth that deeds  of  wrong  would
not pass unpunished.  Neither  did  the  great  fabulist  lack  posthumous
honors; for a statue was erected to his memory  at  Athens,  the  work  of
Lysippus, one of  the  most  famous  of  Greek  sculptors.  Phaedrus  thus
immortalizes the event:
    Aesopo ingentem statuam posuere Attici, Servumque collocarunt aeterna
in basi: Patere honoris scirent ut cuncti  viam;  Nec  generi  tribui  sed
virtuti gloriam.
    These few facts are all that can be relied  on  with  any  degree  of
certainty, in reference to the birth, life, and death of Aesop. They  were
first brought to light, after a patient search  and  diligent  perusal  of
ancient authors, by a Frenchman, M. Claude Gaspard Bachet de Mezeriac, who
declined the honor of being tutor to Louis XIII of France, from his desire
to devote himself exclusively to literature.  He  published  his  Life  of
Aesop, Anno Domini 1632. The later investigations of a host of English and
German scholars have added very little to the facts given by M.  Mezeriac.
The substantial truth of  his  statements  has  been  confirmed  by  later
criticism and inquiry. It remains to state, that prior to this publication
of M. Mezeriac, the life of Aesop was from the pen of Maximus Planudes,  a
monk of Constantinople, who was sent  on  an  embassy  to  Venice  by  the
Byzantine Emperor Andronicus the elder, and who wrote in the early part of
the fourteenth century. His life was prefixed to all the early editions of
these fables, and was republished as late as 1727 by Archdeacon Croxall as
the introduction to his edition of Aesop. This life by Planudes  contains,
however, so small an amount of truth, and is so full of absurd pictures of
the grotesque deformity of Aesop, of wondrous apocryphal stories, of lying
legends, and gross anachronisms, that it is now universally  condemned  as
false, puerile, and unauthentic. l It is given up in the present  day,  by
general consent, as unworthy of the slightest credit.
    1 M. Bayle thus characterises this Life of Aesop by  Planudes,  "Tous
les habiles gens conviennent que c'est un roman,  et  que  les  absurdites
grossieres qui l'on y trouve le rendent indigne de toute."
    Dictionnaire Historique. Art. Esope.

                         The Cock and the Pearl

    A cock was once strutting up and down the  farmyard  among  the  hens
when suddenly he espied something shinning amid the straw. "Ho! ho!" quoth
he, "that's for me," and soon rooted it out from beneath the  straw.  What
did it turn out to be but a Pearl that by some chance had been lost in the
yard? "You may be a treasure," quoth Master Cock, "to men that prize  you,
but for me I would rather have a single barley-corn than a peck of pearls."
    Precious things are for those that can prize them.

                           The Wolf and the Lamb

    Once upon a time a Wolf was lapping at a spring on a hillside,  when,
looking up, what should he see but a Lamb just beginning to drink a little
lower down. "There's my supper," thought he, "if  only  I  can  find  some
excuse to seize it." Then he called out to the Lamb, "How dare you  muddle
the water from which I am drinking?"
    "Nay, master, nay," said Lambikin; "if the water be muddy up there, I
cannot be the cause of it, for it runs down from you to me."
    "Well, then," said the Wolf, "why did you call me bad names this time
last year?"
    "That cannot be," said the Lamb; "I am only six months old."
    "I don't care," snarled the Wolf; "if it was  not  you  it  was  your
father;" and with that he rushed upon the poor little Lamb and.
    ate her all up. But before she died she gasped out.
    "Any excuse will serve a tyrant."

                          The Dog and the Shadow

    It happened that a Dog had got a piece of meat and  was  carrying  it
home in his mouth to eat it in peace. Now on his way home he had to  cross
a plank lying across a running brook. As he crossed, he  looked  down  and
saw his own shadow reflected in the water beneath. Thinking it was another
dog with another piece of meat, he made up his mind to have that also.  So
he made a snap at the shadow in the water, but as he opened his mouth  the
piece of meat fell out, dropped into the water and was never seen more.
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.

                            The Lion's Share

    The Lion went once a-hunting along with the Fox, the Jackal, and  the
Wolf. They hunted and they hunted till at last they surprised a Stag,  and
soon took its life. Then  came  the  question  how  the  spoil  should  be
divided. "Quarter me this Stag," roared the Lion;  so  the  other  animals
skinned it and cut it into four parts. Then the Lion  took  his  stand  in
front of the carcass and pronounced judgment: The first quarter is for  me
in my capacity as King of Beasts; the second is mine as  arbiter;  another
share comes to me for my part in the chase; and as for the fourth quarter,
well, as for that, I should like to see which of you will dare  to  lay  a
paw upon it."
    "Humph," grumbled the Fox as he walked away with his tail between his
legs; but he spoke in a low growl. "You  may  share  the  labours  of  the
great, but you will not share the spoil."

                          The Wolf and the Crane

    A Wolf had been gorging on an animal he had killed, when  suddenly  a
small bone in the meat stuck in his throat and he could not swallow it. He
soon felt terrible pain in his throat, and ran up and  down  groaning  and
groaning and seeking for something to relieve the pain. He tried to induce
every one he met to remove the bone. "I would give anything," said he, "if
you would take it out." At last the Crane agreed to try, and told the Wolf
to lie on his side and open his jaws as wide as he could. Then  the  Crane
put its long neck down the Wolf's throat, and with its beak  loosened  the
bone, till at last it got it out.
    "Will you kindly give me the reward you promised?" said the Crane.
    The Wolf grinned and showed his teeth and said: "Be content. You have
put your head inside a Wolf's mouth and taken it out again in safety; that
ought to be reward enough for you."
    Gratitude and greed go not together.

                          The Man and the Serpent

    A Countryman's son by accident trod  upon  a  Serpent's  tail,  which
turned and bit him so that he died. The father in a rage got his axe,  and
pursuing the Serpent, cut off part of its tail. So the Serpent in  revenge
began stinging several of the Farmer's cattle and caused him severe  loss.
Well, the Farmer thought it best to make  it  up  with  the  Serpent,  and
brought food and honey to the mouth of its lair, and said  to  it:  "Let's
forget and forgive; perhaps you were right to  punish  my  son,  and  take
vengeance on my cattle, but surely I was right in trying to  revenge  him;
now that we are both satisfied why should not we be friends again?"
    "No, no," said the Serpent; "take away  your  gifts;  you  can  never
forget the death of your son, nor I the loss of my tail."
    Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten.

                    The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

    Now you must know that a Town Mouse once upon a time went on a  visit
to his cousin in the country. He was rough and ready, this cousin, but  he
loved his town friend and made him  heartily  welcome.  Beans  and  bacon,
cheese and bread, were all he had to offer, but he  offered  them  freely.
The Town Mouse rather turned up his long nose at this  country  fare,  and
said: "I cannot understand, Cousin, how you can put up with such poor food
as this, but of course you cannot expect anything better in  the  country;
come you with me and I will show you how to live. When you  have  been  in
town a week you will wonder how you could ever have stood a country life."
No sooner said than done: the two mice set off for the town and arrived at
the Town Mouse's residence late at night. "You will want some  refreshment
after our long journey," said the polite Town Mouse, and took  his  friend
into the grand dining-room. There they found the remains of a fine  feast,
and soon the two mice were eating up jellies and cakes and  all  that  was
nice. Suddenly they heard growling and barking. "What is that?"  said  the
Country Mouse. "It is only the dogs of the  house,"  answered  the  other.
"Only!" said the Country Mouse. "I do not like that music at  my  dinner."
Just at that moment the door flew open, in came two huge mastiffs, and the
two mice had to scamper down and run off.  "Good-bye,  Cousin,"  said  the
Country Mouse, "What! going so soon?" said the other. "Yes," he replied;
    "Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear."

                          The Fox and the Crow

    A Fox once saw a Crow fly off with a piece of cheese in its beak  and
settle on a branch of a tree. "That's for me, as I am a Fox," said  Master
Reynard, and he walked up to the foot of  the  tree.  "Good-day,  Mistress
Crow," he cried. "How  well  you  are  looking  to-day:  how  glossy  your
feathers; how bright your eye. I feel sure your voice must surpass that of
other birds, just as your figure does; let me hear but one song  from  you
that I may greet you as the Queen of Birds." The Crow lifted up  her  head
and began to caw her best, but the moment she opened her mouth  the  piece
of cheese fell to the ground, only to be snapped up by Master  Fox.  "That
will do," said he. "That was all I wanted. In exchange for your  cheese  I
will give you a piece of advice for the future. "Do not trust flatterers."

                             The Sick Lion

    A Lion had come to the end of his days and lay sick unto death at the
mouth of his cave, gasping for breath. The  animals,  his  subjects,  came
round him and drew nearer as he grew more and more helpless. When they saw
him on the point of death they thought to themselves: "Now is the time  to
pay off old grudges." So the Boar came up and drove at him with his tusks;
then a Bull gored him with his horns; still the Lion lay  helpless  before
them: so the Ass, feeling quite safe from danger, came up, and turning his
tail to the Lion kicked up his heels into his  face.  "This  is  a  double
death," growled the Lion.
    Only cowards insult dying majesty.

                          The Ass and the Lapdog

    A Farmer one day came to the stables to see to his beasts of  burden:
among them was his favourite Ass, that  was  always  well  fed  and  often
carried his master. With the Farmer came his Lapdog, who danced about  and
licked his hand and frisked about as happy as could be. The Farmer felt in
his pocket, gave the Lapdog some dainty food, and sat down while  he  gave
his orders to his servants. The Lapdog jumped into his master's  lap,  and
lay there blinking while the Farmer stroked  his  ears.  The  Ass,  seeing
this, broke  loose  from  his  halter  and  commenced  prancing  about  in
imitation of the  Lapdog.  The  Farmer  could  not  hold  his  sides  with
laughter, so the Ass went up  to  him,  and  putting  his  feet  upon  the
Farmer's shoulder attempted to climb into his lap. The  Farmer's  servants
rushed up with sticks and pitchforks and soon taught the Ass that.  Clumsy
jesting is no joke.

                         The Lion and the Mouse

    Once when a Lion was asleep a little Mouse began running up and  down
upon him; this soon wakened the Lion, who placed his huge  paw  upon  him,
and opened his big jaws to swallow him. "Pardon, O King," cried the little
Mouse: "forgive me this time, I shall never forget it: who knows but  what
I may be able to do you a turn some  of  these  days?"  The  Lion  was  so
tickled at the idea of the Mouse being able to help him, that he lifted up
his paw and let him go. Some time after the Lion was caught in a trap, and
the hunters who desired to carry him alive to the King, tied him to a tree
while they went in search of a waggon to  carry  him  on.  Just  then  the
little Mouse happened to pass by, and seeing the sad plight in  which  the
Lion was, went up to him and soon gnawed away the  ropes  that  bound  the
King of the Beasts. "Was I not right?" said the little Mouse.
    Little friends may prove great friends.

                      The Swallow and the Other Birds

    It happened that a Countryman was sowing some hemp seeds in  a  field
where a Swallow and some other birds were hopping about picking  up  their
food. "Beware of that man," quoth the Swallow. "Why, what  is  he  doing?"
said the others. "That is hemp seed he is sowing; be careful  to  pick  up
every one of the seeds, or else you will repent it."  The  birds  paid  no
heed to the Swallow's words, and by and by the hemp grew up and  was  made
into cord, and of the cords nets were made,  and  many  a  bird  that  had
despised the Swallow's advice was caught in nets made  out  of  that  very
hemp. "What did I tell you?" said the Swallow.
    Destroy the seed of evil, or it will grow up to your ruin.

                        The Frogs Desiring a King

    The Frogs were living as happy as could be in  a  marshy  swamp  that
just suited them; they went splashing about caring for nobody  and  nobody
troubling with them. But some of them thought that  this  was  not  right,
that they should have a king and a proper constitution, so they determined
to send up a petition to Jove to give them what they wanted. "Mighty Jove,
" they cried, "send unto us a king that will rule over us and keep  us  in
order." Jove laughed at their croaking, and threw down into  the  swamp  a
huge Log, which came downrplashto the swamp. The Frogs were frightened out
of their lives by the commotion made in their midst, and all rushed to the
bank to look at the horrible monster; but after a time, seeing that it did
not move, one or two of the boldest of them ventured out towards the  Log,
and even dared to touch it; still it did not move. Then the greatest  hero
of the Frogs jumped upon the Log and commenced dancing up  and  down  upon
it, thereupon all the Frogs came and did the same; and for some  time  the
Frogs went about their business every day  without  taking  the  slightest
notice of their new King Log lying in their midst. But this did  not  suit
them, so they sent another petition to Jove, and said to him, "We  want  a
real king; one that will really rule over us." Now this made  Jove  angry,
so he sent among them a big Stork that soon set to work gobbling them  all
up. Then the Frogs repented when too late.
    Better no rule than cruel rule.

                         The Mountains in Labour

    One day the Countrymen noticed that the  Mountains  were  in  labour;
smoke came out of their summits, the earth  was  quaking  at  their  feet,
trees were crashing, and huge rocks were tumbling.  They  felt  sure  that
something horrible was going to happen. They all gathered together in  one
place to see what terrible thing this  could  be.  They  waited  and  they
waited, but  nothing  came.  At  last  there  was  a  still  more  violent
earthquake, and a huge gap appeared in the side of the Mountains. They all
fell down upon their knees and waited. At last, and at last, a teeny, tiny
mouse poked its little head and bristles out of the gap and  came  running
down towards them, and ever after they used to say:
    "Much outcry, little outcome."

                         The Hares and the Frogs

    The Hares were so persecuted by the other beasts, they did  not  know
where to go. As soon as they saw a single animal approach them,  off  they
used to run. One day they saw a troop of wild Horses stampeding about, and
in quite a panic all the Hares scuttled off to a lake hard by,  determined
to drown themselves rather than live in such a continual  state  of  fear.
But just as they got near  the  bank  of  the  lake,  a  troop  of  Frogs,
frightened in their turn by the approach of the Hares  scuttled  off,  and
jumped into the water. "Truly," said one of the Hares, "things are not  so
bad as they seem:
    "There is always someone worse off than yourself."

                          The Wolf and the Kid

    A Kid was perched up on the top of a house, and looking  down  saw  a
Wolf passing under him. Immediately he began  to  revile  and  attack  his
enemy. "Murderer and thief," he cried,  "what  do  you  here  near  honest
folks' houses? How dare you make an appearance where your vile  deeds  are
    "Curse away, my young friend," said the Wolf.
    "It is easy to be brave from a safe distance."

                       The Woodman and the Serpent

    One wintry day a Woodman was tramping home from his work when he  saw
something black lying on the snow. When he came closer he  saw  it  was  a
Serpent to all appearance dead. But he took it up and put it in his  bosom
to warm while he hurried home. As soon  as  he  got  indoors  he  put  the
Serpent down on the hearth before the fire. The children  watched  it  and
saw it slowly come to life again. Then one of them stooped down to  stroke
it, but thc Serpent raised its head and put out its fangs and was about to
sting the child to death. So the Woodman seized  his  axe,  and  with  one
stroke cut the Serpent in two. "Ah," said he,
    "No gratitude from the wicked."

                        The Bald Man and the Fly

    There was once a Bald Man who sat down after work on a  hot  summer's
day. A Fly came up and kept buzzing about his bald pate, and stinging  him
from time to time. The Man aimed a blow at his little enemy, but acks palm
came on his head instead; again the Fly tormented him, but this  time  the
Man was wiser and said:
    "You will only injure yourself  if  you  take  notice  of  despicable

                          The Fox and the Stork

    At one time the Fox and the Stork were on visiting terms  and  seemed
very good friends. So the Fox invited the Stork to dinner, and for a  joke
put nothing before her but some soup in a very shallow dish. This the  Fox
could easily lap up, but the Stork could only wet the end of her long bill
in it, and left the meal as hungry as when she began. "I am  sorry,"  said
the Fox, "the soup is not to your liking."
    "Pray do not apologise," said the Stork. "I hope you will return this
visit, and come and dine with me soon." So a day was  appointed  when  the
Fox should visit the Stork; but when they were seated at  table  all  that
was for their dinner was contained in a very long-necked jar with a narrow
mouth, in which the Fox could not insert his snout, so all he could manage
to do was to lick the outside of the jar.
    "I will not apologise for the dinner," said the Stork:
    "One bad turn deserves another."

                          The Fox and the Mask

    A Fox had by some  means  got  into  the  store-room  of  a  theatre.
Suddenly he observed a face glaring down on  him  and  began  to  be  very
frightened; but looking more closely he found it was only a Mask  such  as
actors use to put over their face. "Ah," said  the  Fox,  "you  look  very
fine; it is a pity you have not got any brains."
    Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth.

                         The Jay and the Peacock

    A Jay venturing into a yard where Peacocks used to walk, found  there
a number of feathers which had fallen from the  Peacocks  when  they  were
moulting. He tied them all to his  tail  and  strutted  down  towards  the
Peacocks. When he came near them  they  soon  discovered  the  cheat,  and
striding up to him pecked at him and plucked away his borrowed plumes.  So
the Jay could do no better than go back to the other Jays, who had watched
his behaviour from a distance; but they were equally annoyed with him, and
told him:
    "It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds."

                          The Frog and the Ox

    "Oh Father," said a little Frog to the big one sitting by the side of
a pool, "I have seen such a terrible monster! It was as big as a mountain,
with horns on its head, and a long tail, and it had hoofs divided in two."
    "Tush, child, tush," said the old Frog, "that was only Farmer White's
Ox. It isn't so big either; he may be a little bit taller than  I,  but  I
could easily make myself quite as broad; just you see." So he blew himself
out, and blew himself out, and blew himself out. "Was he as big as  that?"
asked he.
    "Oh, much bigger than that," said the young Frog.
    Again the old one blew himself out, and asked the young one if the Ox
was as big as that.
    "Bigger, father, bigger," was the reply.
    So the Frog took a deep breath, and  blew  and  blew  and  blew,  and
swelled and swelled and swelled. And then he said: "I'm sure the Ox is not
as big asBut at this moment he burst.
    Self-conceit may lead to self-destruction.


    A slave named Androcles once escaped from his master and fled to  the
forest. As he was wandering about there he came upon  a  Lion  lying  down
moaning and groaning. At first he turned to flee,  but  finding  that  the
Lion did not pursue him, he turned back and went up to  him.  As  he  came
near, the Lion put out his paw, which was all swollen  and  bleeding,  and
Androcles found that a huge thorn had got into it, and was causing all the
pain. He pulled out the thorn and bound up the paw of the  Lion,  who  was
soon able to rise and lick the hand of Androcles like a dog. Then the Lion
took Androcles to his cave, and every day used  to  bring  him  meat  from
which to live. But shortly afterwards both Androcles  and  the  Lion  were
captured, and the slave was sentenced to be thrown to the Lion, after  the
latter had been kept without food for several days. The  Emperor  and  all
his Court came to see the spectacle, and Androcles was led  out  into  the
middle of the arena. Soon the Lion was let loose from his den, and  rushed
bounding and roaring towards his victim. But as soon as he  came  near  to
Androcles he recognised his friend, and fawned upon him,  and  licked  his
hands like a friendly  dog.  The  Emperor,  surprised  at  this,  summoned
Androcles to him, who told him the whole story. Whereupon  the  slave  was
pardoned and freed, and the Lion let loose to his native forest.
    Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.

                     The Bat, the Birds, and the Beasts

    A great conflict was about to come off  between  the  Birds  and  the
Beasts. When the two armies were  collected  together  the  Bat  hesitated
which to join. The Birds that passed his perch said: "Come with  us";  but
he said: "I am a Beast." Later on, some Beasts who were passing underneath
him looked up and said: "Come with us";  but  he  said:  "I  am  a  Bird."
Luckily at the last moment peace was made, and no battle  took  place,  so
the Bat came to the Birds and wished to join in the rejoicings,  but  they
all turned against him and he had to fly away. He then went to the Beasts,
but soon had to beat a retreat, or  else  they  would  have  torn  him  to
pieces. "Ah," said the Bat, "I see now,
    "He that is neither one thing nor the other has no friends."

                         The Hart and the Hunter

    The Hart was once drinking from a pool and admiring the noble  figure
he made there. "Ah," said he, "where can  you  see  such  noble  horns  as
these, with such antlers! I wish I had legs more worthy  to  bear  such  a
noble crown; it is a pity they are so slim and slight." At that  moment  a
Hunter approached and sent an arrow whistling after him. Away bounded  the
Hart, and soon, by the aid of his nimble legs, was nearly out of sight  of
the Hunter; but not noticing where he was  going,  he  passed  under  some
trees with branches growing low down in which his antlers were caught,  so
that the Hunter had time to come up. "Alas! alas!" cried the Hart:
    "We often despise what is most useful to us."

                        The Serpent and the File

    A Serpent in the course of its wanderings  came  into  an  armourer's
shop. As he glided over the floor he felt his skin pricked by a file lying
there. In a rage he turned round upon it and tried to dart his fangs  into
it; but he could do no harm to heavy iron and had soon to  give  over  his
    It is useless attacking the insensible.

                          The Man and the Wood

    A Man came into a Wood one day with an axe in his  hand,  and  begged
all the Trees to give him a small branch which he wanted for a  particular
purpose. The Trees were good-natured and gave him one of  their  branches.
What did the Man do but fix it into the axe head, and  soon  set  to  work
cutting down tree after tree. Then the Trees saw how foolish they had been
in giving their enemy the means of destroying themselves.

                          The Dog and the Wolf

    A gaunt Wolf was almost dead with hunger when he happened to  meet  a
House-dog who was passing by. "Ah, Cousin," said the Dog. "I knew  how  it
would be; your irregular life will soon be the ruin of you. Why do you not
work steadily as I do, and get your food regularly given to you?"
    "I would have no objection," said the Wolf, "if I could  only  get  a
    "I will easily arrange that for you," said the Dog; "come with me  to
my master and you shall share my work."
    So the Wolf and the Dog went towards the town together.  On  the  way
there the Wolf noticed that the hair on a certain part of the  Dog's  neck
was very much worn away, so he asked him how that had come about.
    "Oh, it is nothing," said the Dog. "That is only the place where  the
collar is put on at night to keep me chained up; it chafes a bit, but  one
soon gets used to it."
    "Is that all?" said the Wolf. "Then good-bye to you, Master Dog."
    Better starve free than be a fat slave.

                         The Belly and the Members

    One fine day it occurred to the Members of the Body  that  they  were
doing all the work and the Belly was having all the food. So they  held  a
meeting, and after a long discussion, decided  to  strike  work  till  the
Belly consented to take its proper share of the work. So for a day or two,
the Hands refused to take the food, the Mouth refused to receive  it,  and
the Teeth had no work to do. But after a day or two the Members  began  to
find that they themselves were not in a very active condition:  the  Hands
could hardly move, and the Mouth was all parched and dry, while  the  Legs
were unable to support the rest. So thus they found that even the Belly in
its dull quiet way was doing necessary work for the  Body,  and  that  all
must work together or the Body will go to pieces.

                         The Hart in the Ox-Stall

    A Hart hotly pursued by the hounds fled for refuge into an  ox-stall,
and buried itself in a truss of hay, leaving nothing to be  seen  but  the
tips of his horns. Soon after the Hunters came up and asked if any one had
seen the Hart. The stable boys, who had been resting after  their  dinner,
looked round, but could see nothing, and the Hunters  went  away.  Shortly
afterwards the master came in,  and  looking  round,  saw  that  something
unusual had taken place. He pointed to the truss of hay  and  said:  "What
are those two curious things sticking out of the hay?" And when the stable
boys came to look they discovered the Hart, and soon made an end  of  him.
He thus learnt that Nothing escapes the master's eye.

                          The Fox and the Grapes

    One hot summer's day a Fox was strolling through an orchard  till  he
came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had  been  trained
over a lofty branch. "Just the thing  to  quench  my  thirst,"  quoth  he.
Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and  just  missed  the
bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but  with
no greater success. Again and again he tried after  the  tempting  morsel,
but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in  the  air,
saying: "I am sure they are sour."
    It is easy to despise what you cannot get.

                        The Horse, Hunter, and Stag

    A quarrel had arisen between the Horse and the  Stag,  so  the  Horse
came to a Hunter to ask his help to take revenge on the Stag.  The  Hunter
agreed, but said: "If you desire to conquer the Stag, you must  permit  me
to place this piece of iron between your jaws, so that  I  may  guide  you
with these reins, and allow this saddle to be placed  upon  your  back  so
that I may keep steady upon you as we follow after the enemy."  The  Horse
agreed to the conditions, and the Hunter soon  saddled  and  bridled  him.
Then with the aid of the Hunter the Horse soon overcame the Stag, and said
to the Hunter: "Now, get off, and remove those things from  my  mouth  and
    "Not so fast, friend," said the Hunter. "I have now got you under bit
and spur, and prefer to keep you as you are at present."
    If you allow men to use you for your own purposes, they will use  you
for theirs.

                          The Peacock and Juno

    A Peacock once placed a petition before Juno  desiring  to  have  the
voice of a nightingale in addition to  his  other  attractions;  but  Juno
refused his request. When he persisted, and pointed out that  he  was  her
favourite bird, she said:
    "Be content with your lot; one cannot be first in everything."

                          The Fox and the Lion

    When first the Fox saw the Lion he was terribly frightened,  and  ran
away and hid himself in the wood. Next time however he came near the  King
of Beasts he stopped at a safe distance and watched him pass by. The third
time they came near one another the Fox went straight up to the  Lion  and
passed the time of day with him, asking him how his family were, and  when
he should have the pleasure of seeing him again; then turning his tail, he
parted from the Lion without much ceremony.
    Familiarity breeds contempt.

                        The Lion and the Statue

    A Man and a Lion were discussing the relative  strength  of  men  and
lions in general. The Man contended that he and his fellows were  stronger
than lions by reason of their greater intelligence. "Come now with me," he
cried, "and I will soon prove that I am right." So he took  him  into  the
public gardens and showed him a statue of Hercules overcoming the Lion and
tearing his mouth in two.
    "That is all very well," said the Lion, "but proves nothing,  for  it
was a man who made the statue."
    We can easily represent things as we wish them to be.

                       The Ant and the Grasshopper

    In a field one summer's day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping
and singing to its heart's content. An Ant passed by, bearing  along  with
great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.
    "Why not come and chat with me," said the  Grasshopper,  "instead  of
toiling and moiling in that way?"
    "I am helping to lay up food for the  winter,"  said  the  Ant,  "and
recommend you to do the same."
    "Why bother about winter?" said the Grasshopper; we have  got  plenty
of food at present." But the Ant went on its way and continued  its  toil.
When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of
hunger, while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and  grain  from
the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew:
    It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.

                          The Tree and the Reed

    "Well, little one," said a Tree to a Reed that  was  growing  at  its
foot, "why do you not plant your feet deeply in the ground, and raise your
head boldly in the air as I do?"
    "I am contented with my lot," said the Reed. "I may not be so  grand,
but I think I am safer."
    "Safe!" sneered the Tree. "Who shall pluck me up by the roots or  bow
my head to the ground?" But it soon had to repent of its boasting,  for  a
hurricane arose which tore it up from its roots, and cast it a useless log
on the ground, while the little Reed, bending to the force  of  the  wind,
soon stood upright again when the storm had passed over.
    Obscurity often brings safety.

                           The Fox and the Cat

    A Fox was boasting to a Cat of its clever devices  for  escaping  its
enemies. "I have a whole bag  of  tricks,"  he  said,  "which  contains  a
hundred ways of escaping my enemies."
    "I have only one," said the Cat; "but I  can  generally  manage  with
that." Just at that moment they heard the cry of a pack of  hounds  coming
towards them, and the Cat immediately scampered up a tree and hid  herself
in the boughs. "This is my plan," said the Cat. "What are you going to do?
" The Fox thought first of one way, then of  another,  and  while  he  was
debating the hounds came nearer and nearer, and at last  the  Fox  in  his
confusion was caught up by the hounds and soon  killed  by  the  huntsmen.
Miss Puss, who had been looking on, said:
    "Better one safe way than a hundred on which you cannot reckon."

                       The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

    A Wolf found great difficulty in getting at the sheep  owing  to  the
vigilance of the shepherd and his dogs. But one day it found the skin of a
sheep that had been flayed and thrown aside, so it put it on over its  own
pelt and strolled down among the sheep. The  Lamb  that  belonged  to  the
sheep, whose skin the Wolf was wearing, began to follow the  Wolf  in  the
Sheep's clothing; so, leading the Lamb a little apart, he soon made a meal
off her, and for some time  he  succeeded  in  deceiving  the  sheep,  and
enjoying hearty meals.
    Appearances are deceptive.

                         The Dog in the Manger

    A Dog looking out for its afternoon nap jumped into the Manger of  an
Ox and lay there cosily upon the straw. But soon the  Ox,  returning  from
its afternoon work, came up to the Manger and wanted to eat  some  of  the
straw. The Dog in a rage, being awakened from its slumber,  stood  up  and
barked at the Ox, and whenever it came near attempted to bite it. At  last
the Ox had to give up the hope of getting at  the  straw,  and  went  away
    "Ah, people often grudge others what they cannot enjoy themselves."

                       The Man and the Wooden God

    In the old days men used to worship stocks and stones and idols,  and
prayed to them to give them luck. It happened that a Man had often  prayed
to a wooden idol he had received from  his  father,  but  his  luck  never
seemed to change. He prayed and  he  prayed,  but  still  he  remained  as
unlucky as ever. One day in the greatest rage he went to the  Wooden  God,
and with one blow swept it down from its pedestal. The idol broke in  two,
and what did he see? An immense number of coins flying all over the place.

                               The Fisher

    A Fisher once took his bagpipes to the bank of a  river,  and  played
upon them with the hope of making the fish rise; but never a one  put  his
nose out of the water. So he cast his net into the river and soon drew  it
forth filled with fish. Then he  took  his  bagpipes  again,  and,  as  he
played, the fish leapt up in the net. "Ah, you dance  now  when  I  play,"
said he.
    "Yes," said an old Fish:
    "When you are in a man's power you must do as he bids you."

                            The Shepherd's Boy

    There was once a young Shepherd Boy who tended his sheep at the  foot
of a mountain near a dark forest. It was rather lonely for him all day, so
he thought upon a plan by which he could get a  little  company  and  some
excitement. He rushed down towards the village calling out  "Wolf,  Wolf,"
and the villagers came out to meet him, and some of them stopped with  him
for a considerable time. This pleased the boy so  much  that  a  few  days
afterwards he tried the same trick, and again the villagers  came  to  his
help. But shortly after this a Wolf actually did come out from the forest,
and began to worry the sheep, and the boy of course cried out "Wolf, Wolf,
" still louder than before. But this time  the  villagers,  who  had  been
fooled twice before, thought the boy was again deceiving them, and  nobody
stirred to come to his help. So the Wolf made a good meal  off  the  boy's
flock, and when the boy complained, the wise man of the village said:
    "A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth."

                      The Young Thief and His Mother

    A young Man had been caught in a daring act of  theft  and  had  been
condemned to be executed for it.  He  expressed  his  desire  to  see  his
Mother, and to speak with her before he  was  led  to  execution,  and  of
course this was granted. When his Mother came to him he said: "I  want  to
whisper to you," and when she brought her ear near him, he nearly  bit  it
off. All the bystanders were horrified, and asked him what he  could  mean
by such brutal and inhuman conduct. "It is to punish her," he said.  "When
I was young I began with stealing little things, and brought them home  to
Mother. Instead of rebuking and punishing me, she laughed  and  said:  "It
will not be noticed." It is because of her that I am here to-day."
    "He is right, woman," said the Priest; "the Lord hath said:
    "Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will
not depart therefrom."

                        The Man and His Two Wives

    In the old days,  when  men  were  allowed  to  have  many  wives,  a
middle-aged Man had one wife that was old and one  that  was  young;  each
loved him very much, and desired to see him like herself.  Now  the  Man's
hair was turning grey, which the young Wife did not like, as it  made  him
look too old for her husband. So every night she used to comb his hair and
pick out the white ones. But the elder Wife saw her husband  growing  grey
with great pleasure, for she did not like to be mistaken for  his  mother.
So every morning she used to arrange his hair and pick out as many of  the
black ones as she could. The consequence was the Man  soon  found  himself
entirely bald.
    Yield to all and you will soon have nothing to yield.

                           The Nurse and the Wolf

    "Be quiet now," said an old Nurse to a child sitting on her lap.  "If
you make that noise again I will throw you to the Wolf."
    Now it chanced that a Wolf was passing close under the window as this
was said. So he crouched down by the side of the house and waited.  "I  am
in good luck to-day," thought he. "It is sure to cry soon, and a  daintier
morsel I haven't had for many a long day." So he waited,  and  he  waited,
and he waited, till at last the child began to  cry,  and  the  Wolf  came
forward before the window, and looked up to the Nurse, wagging  his  tail.
But all the Nurse did was to shut down the window and call for  help,  and
the dogs of the house came rushing out. "Ah," said the Wolf as he galloped
    "Enemies promises were made to be broken."

                        The Tortoise and the Birds

    A Tortoise desired to change its place of residence, so he  asked  an
Eagle to carry him to his new home, promising her a rich  reward  for  her
trouble. The Eagle agreed and seizing the Tortoise by the shell  with  her
talons soared aloft. On their way they met a Crow, who said to the  Eagle:
"Tortoise is good eating." "The shell is too  hard,"  said  the  Eagle  in
reply. "The rocks will soon crack the shell," was the Crow's  answer;  and
the Eagle, taking the hint, let fall the Tortoise on a sharp rock, and the
two birds made a hearty meal of the Tortoise.
    Never soar aloft on an enemy's pinions.

                                The Two Crabs

    One fine day two Crabs came out from their home to take a  stroll  on
the sand. "Child," said the mother, "you are  walking  very  ungracefully.
You should accustom yourself, to walking straight forward without twisting
from side to side."
    "Pray, mother," said the young one, "do but set the example yourself,
and I will follow you."
    Example is the best precept.

                         The Ass in the Lion's Skin

    An Ass once found a Lion's skin which the hunters had left out in the
sun to dry. He put it on and went towards his native village. All fled  at
his approach, both men and animals, and he was a proud Ass  that  day.  In
his delight he lifted up his voice and brayed, but  then  every  one  knew
him, and his owner came up and gave him a sound cudgelling for the  fright
he had caused. And shortly afterwards a Fox came up to him and said:  "Ah,
I knew you by your voice."
    Fine clothes may disguise, but silly words will disclose a fool.

                        The Two Fellows and the Bear

    Two Fellows were travelling together through  a  wood,  when  a  Bear
rushed out upon them. One of the travellers happened to be in  front,  and
he seized hold of the branch of a tree, and hid himself among the  leaves.
The other, seeing no help for it, threw himself flat down upon the ground,
with his face in the dust. The Bear, coming up  to  him,  put  his  muzzle
close to his ear, and sniffed and sniffed. But at last  with  a  growl  he
shook his head and slouched off, for bears will not touch dead meat.  Then
the fellow in the tree came down to his comrade, and, laughing, said "What
was it that Master Bruin whispered to you?"
    "He told me," said the other,
    "Never trust a friend who deserts you at a pinch."

                              The Two Pots

    Two Pots had been left on the bank of a river, one of brass, and  one
of earthenware. When the tide rose they both floated off down the  stream.
Now the earthenware pot tried its best to keep aloof from the  brass  one,
which cried out: "Fear nothing, friend, I will not strike you."
    "But I may come in contact with you," said the other, "if I come  too
close; and whether I hit you, or you hit me, I shall suffer for it."
    The strong and the weak cannot keep company.

                        The Four Oxen and the Lion

    A Lion used to prowl about a field in which Four Oxen used to  dwell.
Many a time he tried to attack them; but whenever he came near they turned
their tails to one another, so that whichever way he  approached  them  he
was met by the  horns  of  one  of  them.  At  last,  however,  they  fell
a-quarrelling among themselves, and each went off to pasture  alone  in  a
separate corner of the field. Then the Lion attacked them one by  one  and
soon made an end of all four.
    United we stand, divided we fall.

                      The Fisher and the Little Fish

    It happened that a Fisher, after  fishing  all  day,  caught  only  a
little fish. "Pray, let me go, master," said the  Fish.  "I  am  much  too
small for your eating just now. If you put me back into the river I  shall
soon grow, then you can make a fine meal off me."
    "Nay, nay, my little Fish," said the Fisher, "I have you now.  I  may
not catch you hereafter."
    A little thing in hand is worth more than a great thing in prospect.

                          Avaricious and Envious

    Two neighbours came before Jupiter and  prayed  him  to  grant  their
hearts' desire. Now the one was full of avarice, and the  other  eaten  up
with envy. So to punish them both, Jupiter granted that  each  might  have
whatever he wished for himself, but only on condition that  his  neighbour
had twice as much. The Avaricious man prayed to have a room full of  gold.
No sooner said than done; but all his joy was  turned  to  grief  when  he
found that his neighbour had two rooms full of the  precious  metal.  Then
came the turn of the Envious man, who could not bear  to  think  that  his
neighbour had any joy at all. So he prayed that he might have one  of  his
own eyes put out, by which means his companion would become totally blind.
    Vices are their own punishment.

                        The Crow and the Pitcher

    A Crow, half-dead with thirst, came upon a  Pitcher  which  had  once
been full of water; but when the Crow put its beak into the mouth  of  the
Pitcher he found that only very little water was left in it, and  that  he
could not reach far enough down to get at it. He tried, and he tried,  but
at last had to give up in despair. Then a thought came to him, and he took
a pebble and dropped it into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble  and
dropped that into him, and after casting in a few more pebbles he was able
to quench his thirst and save his life.
    Little by little does the trick.

                          The Man and the Satyr

    A Man had lost his way in a wood one bitter winter's night. As he was
roaming about, a Satyr came up to him, and finding that he  had  lost  his
way, promised to give him a lodging for the night, and guide  him  out  of
the forest in the morning. As he went along to the Satyr's cell,  the  Man
raised both his hands to his mouth and kept on blowing at them.  "What  do
you do that for?" said the Satyr.
    "My hands are numb with the cold," said the Man, "and my breath warms
    After this they arrived at the Satyr's home, and soon the Satyr put a
smoking dish of porridge before him. But when the Man raised his spoon  to
his mouth he began blowing upon it. "And what do you do  that  for?"  said
the Satyr.
    "The porridge is too hot, and my breath will cool it."
    "Out you go," said the Satyr. "I will have nought to do  with  a  man
who can blow hot and cold with the same breath."

                      The Goose With the Golden Eggs

    One day a countryman going to the nest of his Goose  found  there  an
egg all yellow and glittering. When he took it up it was as heavy as  lead
and he was going to throw it away, because he thought  a  trick  had  been
played upon him. But he took it home on second thoughts, and soon found to
his delight that it was an egg of pure gold. Every morning the same  thing
occurred, and he soon became rich by selling his eggs. As he grew rich  he
grew greedy; and thinking to get at once all  the  gold  the  Goose  could
give, he killed it and opened it only to find nothing.
    Greed oft o'er reaches itself.

                     The Labourer and the Nightingale

    A Labourer lay listening  to  a  Nightingale's  song  throughout  the
summer night. So pleased was he with it that the next night he set a  trap
for it and captured it. "Now that I have caught  thee,"  he  cried,  "thou
shalt always sing to me."
    "We Nightingales never sing in a cage." said the bird.
    "Then I'll eat thee." said the Labourer. "I  have  always  heard  say
that a nightingale on toast is dainty morsel."
    "Nay, kill me not," said the Nightingale; "but let me free, and  I'll
tell thee three things far better worth than my poor body."  The  Labourer
let him loose, and he flew up to a branch  of  a  tree  and  said:  "Never
believe a captive's promise; that's one thing. Then again: Keep  what  you
have. And third piece of advice is: Sorrow not over what is lost forever."
Then the song-bird flew away.

                     The Fox, the Cock, and the Dog

    One moonlight night a Fox was prowling about a farmer's hen-coop, and
saw a Cock roosting high up beyond his reach. "Good news, good  news!"  he
    "Why, what is that?" said the Cock.
    "King Lion has declared a universal truce. No beast may hurt  a  bird
henceforth, but all shall dwell together in brotherly friendship."
    "Why, that is good news," said the Cock; "and there I  see  some  one
coming, with whom we can share the good tidings." And so saying he  craned
his neck forward and looked afar off.
    "What is it you see?" said the Fox.
    "It is only my master's Dog that is coming towards us. What, going so
soon?" he continued, as the Fox began to turn away as soon as he had heard
the news. "Will you not stop and congratulate the  Dog  on  the  reign  of
universal peace?"
    "I would gladly do so," said the Fox, "but I fear  he  may  not  have
heard of King Lion's decree."
    Cunning often outwits itself.

                           The Wind and the Sun

    The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger.  Suddenly
they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun said: "I see a  way
to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that  traveller  to  take
off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin."  So  the  Sun
retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as  hard  as  it  could
upon the traveller. But the harder  he  blew  the  more  closely  did  the
traveller wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to  give  up
in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in  all  his  glory  upon  the
traveller, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.
    Kindness effects more than severity.

                       Hercules and the Waggoner

    A Waggoner was once driving a heavy load along a very muddy  way.  At
last he came to a part of the road where the wheels sank half-way into the
mire, and the more the horses pulled, the deeper sank the wheels.  So  the
Waggoner threw down his whip, and knelt down and prayed  to  Hercules  the
Strong. "O Hercules, help me in this my hour of distress," quoth  he.  But
Hercules appeared to him, and said:
    "Tut, man, don't sprawl there. Get up and put your  shoulder  to  the
    The gods help them that help themselves.

                     The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey

    A Man and his son were once going with their  Donkey  to  market.  As
they were walking along by its side a countryman  passed  them  and  said:
"You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?"
    So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way.  But
soon they passed a group  of  men,  one  of  whom  said:  "See  that  lazy
youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides."
    So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself.  But  they
hadn't gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other:
"Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along."
    Well, the Man didn't know what to do, but at last he took his Boy  up
before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and  the
passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what
they were scoffing at. The men said: "Aren't you ashamed of  yourself  for
overloading that poor donkey of yoursu and your hulking son?"
    The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do.  They  thought
and they thought, till at last they cut down a  pole,  tied  the  donkey's
feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to  their  shoulders.  They
went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to  Market
Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet  loose,  kicked  out  and
caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In  the  struggle  the  Donkey
fell over the bridge,  and  his  fore-feet  being  tied  together  he  was
    "That will teach you," said an old man who had followed them:
    "Please all, and you will please none."

                         The Miser and His Gold

    Once upon a time there was a Miser who used to hide his gold  at  the
foot of a tree in his garden; but every week he used to go and dig  it  up
and gloat over his gains. A robber, who had noticed this, went and dug  up
the gold and decamped with it. When the Miser next came to gloat over  his
treasures, he found nothing but the empty hole.  He  tore  his  hair,  and
raised such an outcry that all the neighbours came around him, and he told
them how he used to come and visit his gold. "Did you ever take any of  it
out?" asked one of them.
    "Nay," said he, "I only came to look at it."
    "Then come again and look at the hole," said a neighbour; "it will do
you just as much good."
    Wealth unused might as well not exist.

                        The Fox and the Mosquitoes

    A Fox after crossing a river got its tail entangled in  a  bush,  and
could not move. A number of Mosquitoes seeing its plight settled  upon  it
and enjoyed a good meal undisturbed by its tail. A hedgehog  strolling  by
took pity upon the Fox and went  up  to  him:  "You  are  in  a  bad  way,
neighbour," said the hedgehog; "shall I relieve you by driving  off  those
Mosquitoes who are sucking your blood?"
    "Thank you, Master Hedgehog," said the Fox, "but I would rather not."
    "Why, how is that?" asked the hedgehog.
    "Well, you see," was the answer, "these  Mosquitoes  have  had  their
fill; if you drive these away, others will come with  fresh  appetite  and
bleed me to death."

                         The Fox Without a Tail

    It happened that a Fox caught its tail in a trap, and  in  struggling
to release himself lost all of it but the stump. At first he  was  ashamed
to show himself among his fellow foxes. But at last he determined to put a
bolder face upon his misfortune, and summoned all the foxes to  a  general
meeting to consider a proposal which he had to  place  before  them.  When
they had assembled together the Fox proposed that they should all do  away
with their tails. He pointed out how inconvenient a  tail  was  when  they
were pursued by their enemies, the dogs; how much it was in the  way  when
they desired to sit  down  and  hold  a  friendly  conversation  with  one
another. He failed to see any advantage in carrying about such  a  useless
encumbrance. "That is all very well," said one of the older foxes; "but  I
do not think you would have recommended us  to  dispense  with  our  chief
ornament if you had not happened to lose it yourself."
    Distrust interested advice.

                            The One-Eyed Doe

    A Doe had had the misfortune to lose one of her eyes, and  could  not
see any one approaching her on that side.  So  to  avoid  any  danger  she
always used to feed on a high cliff near  the  sea,  with  her  sound  eye
looking towards the land. By this means she could see whenever the hunters
approached her on land, and often escaped by this means. But  the  hunters
found out that she was blind of one eye, and hiring a boat rowed under the
cliff where she used to feed and shot her from the sea.  "Ah,"  cried  she
with her dying voice,
    "You cannot escape your fate."

                              Belling the Cat

    Long ago, the mice had a general council to  consider  what  measures
they could take to outwit their common enemy, the Cat. Some said this, and
some said that; but at last a young  mouse  got  up  and  said  he  had  a
proposal to make, which he thought would meet  the  case.  "You  will  all
agree,"  said  he,  "that  our  chief  danger  consists  in  the  sly  and
treacherous manner in which the enemy approaches  us.  Now,  if  we  could
receive some signal of her approach, we could easily escape  from  her.  I
venture, therefore, to propose that a small bell be procured, and attached
by a ribbon round the neck of the Cat. By this means we should always know
when she was  about,  and  could  easily  retire  while  she  was  in  the
    This proposal met with general applause, until an old  mouse  got  up
and said: "That is all very well, but who is to bell the  Cat?"  The  mice
looked at one another and nobody spoke. Then the old mouse said:
    "It is easy to propose impossible remedies."

                         The Hare and the Tortoise

    The Hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals.  "I
have never yet been beaten," said he, "when I put forth my full  speed.  I
challenge any one here to race with me."
    The Tortoise said quietly, "I accept your challenge."
    "That is a good joke," said the Hare; "I could dance  round  you  all
the way."
    "Keep your boasting  till  you've  beaten,"  answered  the  Tortoise.
"Shall we race?"
    So a course was fixed and a start was made. The  Hare  darted  almost
out of sight at once, but soon stopped and, to show his contempt  for  the
Tortoise, lay down to have a nap. The Tortoise plodded on and plodded  on,
and when the Hare awoke from his nap, he saw the Tortoise  just  near  the
winning-post and could not run up in time to save the race. Then said  the
    "Plodding wins the race."

                            The Old Man and Death

    An old labourer, bent double with age and toil, was gathering  sticks
in a forest. At last he grew so tired and hopeless that he threw down  the
bundle of sticks, and cried out: "I cannot bear this life any longer.  Ah,
I wish Death would only come and take me!"
    As he spoke, Death, a grisly skeleton,  appeared  and  said  to  him:
"What wouldst thou, Mortal? I heard thee call me."
    "Please, sir," replied the woodcutter, "would you kindly help  me  to
lift this faggot of sticks on to my shoulder?"
    We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified.

                         The Hare With Many Friends

    A Hare was very popular with the other beasts who all claimed  to  be
her friends. But one day she heard the hounds  approaching  and  hoped  to
escape them by the aid of her many Friends. So, she went to the horse, and
asked him to carry her away from the hounds on his back. But he  declined,
stating that he had important work to do for his master. "He  felt  sure,"
he said, "that all her other friends would come to  her  assistance."  She
then applied to the bull, and hoped that he would repel  the  hounds  with
his horns. The bull replied: "I am very sorry, but I have  an  appointment
with a lady; but I feel sure that our friend the goat  will  do  what  you
want." The goat, however, feared that his back might do her some  harm  if
he took her upon it. The ram, he felt sure, was the proper friend to apply
to. So she went to the ram  and  told  him  the  case.  The  ram  replied:
"Another time, my dear friend. I do not like to interfere on  the  present
occasion, as hounds have been known to eat sheep as well  as  hares."  The
Hare then applied, as a last hope, to the calf, who regretted that he  was
unable to help her, as he did not like to  take  the  responsibility  upon
himself, as so many older persons than himself had declined the  task.  By
this time the hounds were quite near, and the Hare took to her  heels  and
luckily escaped.
    He that has many friends, has no friends.

                             The Lion in Love

    A Lion once fell  in  love  with  a  beautiful  maiden  and  proposed
marriage to her parents. The old people did not know what to say. They did
not like to give their daughter to the Lion, yet  they  did  not  wish  to
enrage the King of Beasts. At  last  the  father  said:  "We  feel  highly
honoured by your Majesty's proposal, but you see our daughter is a  tender
young thing, and we fear that in the vehemence of your affection you might
possibly do her some injury. Might I venture to suggest that your  Majesty
should have your claws removed, and your teeth extracted,  then  we  would
gladly consider your proposal again." The Lion was so much in love that he
had his claws trimmed and his big teeth taken out. But when he came  again
to the parents of the young girl they simply laughed in his face, and bade
him do his worst.
    Love can tame the wildest.

                          The Bundle of Sticks

    An old man on the point of death summoned his sons around him to give
them some parting advice. He ordered his servants to bring in a faggot  of
sticks, and said to his eldest son:  "Break  it."  The  son  strained  and
strained, but with all his efforts was unable to  break  the  Bundle.  The
other sons also tried,  but  none  of  them  was  successful.  "Untie  the
faggots," said the father, "and each of you take a stick." When  they  had
done so, he called out to them: "Now, break," and each  stick  was  easily
broken. "You see my meaning," said their father.
    Union gives strength.

                     The Lion, the Fox, and the Beasts

    The Lion once gave out that he was sick unto death and  summoned  the
animals to come and hear his last Will and Testament. So the Goat came  to
the Lion's cave, and stopped there listening for a long time. Then a Sheep
went in, and before she came out a Calf came up to receive the last wishes
of the Lord of the Beasts. But soon the Lion seemed to recover,  and  came
to the mouth of his cave, and saw the Fox, who had  been  waiting  outside
for some time. "Why do you not come to pay your respects to me?" said  the
Lion to the Fox.
    "I beg your Majesty's pardon," said the Fox, "but I noticed the track
of the animals that have already  come  to  you;  and  while  I  see  many
hoof-marks going in, I see none coming out. Till  the  animals  that  have
entered your cave come out again I prefer to remain in the open air."
    It is easier to get into the enemy's toils than out again.

                           The Ass's Brains

    The Lion and the Fox went hunting together. The Lion, on  the  advice
of the Fox, sent a message to the  Ass,  proposing  to  make  an  alliance
between their two  families.  The  Ass  came  to  the  place  of  meeting,
overjoyed at the prospect of a royal alliance. But when he came there  the
Lion simply pounced on the Ass, and said to the Fox: "Here is  our  dinner
for to-day. Watch you here while I go and have a nap. Woe  betide  you  if
you touch my prey." The Lion went away and the  Fox  waited;  but  finding
that his master did not return, ventured to take out the brains of the Ass
and ate them up. When the Lion came back he soon noticed  the  absence  of
the brains, and asked the Fox in a terrible voice:  "What  have  you  done
with the brains?"
    "Brains, your Majesty! it had none, or it  would  never  have  fallen
into your trap."
    Wit has always an answer ready.

                          The Eagle and the Arrow

    An Eagle was soaring through the air when suddenly it heard the whizz
of an Arrow, and felt itself wounded to death. Slowly it fluttered down to
the earth, with its life-blood pouring out of it. Looking  down  upon  the
Arrow with which it had been pierced, it found that the shaft of the Arrow
had been feathered with one of its own plumes. "Alas!"  it  cried,  as  it
    "We often give our enemies the means for our own destruction."

                          The Milkmaid and Her Pail

    Patty the Milkmaid was going to market carrying her milk in a Pail on
her head. As she went along she began calculating what she would  do  with
the money she would get for the milk. "I'll buy  some  fowls  from  Farmer
Brown," said she, "and they will lay eggs each morning, which I will  sell
to the parson's wife. With the money that I get from  the  sale  of  these
eggs I'll buy myself a new dimity frock and a chip hat; and when I  go  to
market, won't all the young men come up and speak to me! Polly  Shaw  will
be that jealous; but I don't care. I shall just look at her  and  toss  my
head like this. As she spoke she tossed her head back, the Pail  fell  off
it, and all the milk was spilt. So she had to go home and tell her  mother
what had occurred.
    "Ah, my child," said the mother,
    "Do not count your chickens before they are hatched."

                            The Cat-Maiden

    The gods were once disputing whether it was  possible  for  a  living
being to change its nature. Jupiter said "Yes," but Venus said  "No."  So,
to try the question, Jupiter turned a Cat into a Maiden, and gave her to a
young man for a wife. The wedding was duly performed and the young  couple
sat down to  the  wedding-feast.  "See,"  said  Jupiter,  to  Venus,  "how
becomingly she behaves. Who could tell that yesterday she was but  a  Cat?
Surely her nature is changed?"
    "Wait a minute," replied Venus, and let loose a mouse into the  room.
No sooner did the bride see this than she jumped  up  from  her  seat  and
tried to pounce upon the mouse. "Ah, you see," said Venus,
    "Nature will out."

                          The Horse and the Ass

    A Horse and an Ass were travelling together, the Horse prancing along
in its fine trappings, the Ass carrying with difficulty the  heavy  weight
in its panniers. "I wish I were you," sighed the Ass; "nothing to  do  and
well fed, and all that fine harness upon you." Next  day,  however,  there
was a great battle, and the Horse was wounded to death in the final charge
of the day. His friend, the Ass, happened to pass  by  shortly  afterwards
and found him on the point of death. "I was wrong," said the Ass:
    "Better humble security than gilded danger."

                       The Trumpeter Taken Prisoner

    A Trumpeter during a battle ventured  too  near  the  enemy  and  was
captured by them. They were about to proceed to put him to death  when  he
begged them to hear his plea for mercy. "I do not fight,"  said  he,  "and
indeed carry no weapon; I only blow this trumpet, and surely  that  cannot
harm you; then why should you kill me?"
    "You may not fight yourself," said the others, "but you encourage and
guide your men to the fight."
    Words may be deeds.

                       The Buffoon and the Countryman

    At a country fair there was a Buffoon who made all the  people  laugh
by imitating the cries of various animals. He finished off by squeaking so
like a pig that the spectators thought that  he  had  a  porker  concealed
about him. But a Countryman who stood by said: "Call that a pig s  squeak!
Nothing like it. You give me till tomorrow and I will show you  what  it's
like." The audience laughed, but next day,  sure  enough,  the  Countryman
appeared on the stage, and putting his head  down  squealed  so  hideously
that the spectators hissed and threw stones at him to make him stop.  "You
fools!" he cried, "see what you have been hissing," and held up  a  little
pig whose ear he had been pinching to make him utter the squeals.
    Men often applaud an imitation and hiss the real thing.

                      The Old Woman and the Wine-Jar

    You must know that sometimes old women like a glass of wine.  One  of
this sort once found a Wine-jar lying in the road, and eagerly went up  to
it hoping to find it full. But when she took it up she found that all  the
wine had been drunk out of it. Still she took a long sniff at the mouth of
the Jar. "Ah," she cried,
    "What memories cling 'round the instruments of our pleasure."

                          The Fox and the Goat

    By an unlucky chance a Fox fell into a deep well from which he  could
not get out. A Goat passed by shortly afterwards, and asked the  Fox  what
he was doing down there. "Oh, have you not heard?" said the Fox; "there is
going to be a great drought, so I jumped down here in order to be sure  to
have water by me. Why don't you come down too?" The Goat thought  well  of
this advice, and jumped down into the well. But the Fox immediately jumped
on her back, and by putting his foot on her long horns managed to jump  up
to the edge of the well. "Good-bye, friend," said the Fox, "remember  next
    "Never trust the advice of a man in difficulties."