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AESOP'S FABLES



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
adversity.

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 land."

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 affairs."

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
Ass."

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 off.

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 dinners."

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 antagonists?'

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.


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