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AESOP'S FABLES



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
Lion."

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 injury.

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, she 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 all."

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 monster."

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 wrong."

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.




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