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THE ONE-EYED DOE.
A Doe, blind of an 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 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 sea-shore, 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 traffic. He sold all his flock, and invested it in a cargo of dates and set sail. But a very great tempest coming on, and the ship being in danger of sinking, he threw all his merchandise overboard, and hardly escaped with his life in the empty ship. Not long afterwards, on some one passing by, and observing the unruffled calm of the sea, he interrupted him and said, "Belike 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 MILK-WOMAN AND HER PAIL.
A FARMER'S daughter was carrying her pail of milk from the field to the farm-house, when she fell amusing. "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 the perquisites that will fall to my share, to buy a new gown. In this dress I will go to the Christmas junketings, when 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 MICE IN COUNCIL.
The Mice summoned a council to decide how they might best devise means for obtaining notice of the approach of their great enemy the Cat. Among the many plans devised, the one that found most favour was the proposal to tie a bell to the neck of the Cat, 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 HOUSE-DOG.
A WOLF, meeting with a big well-fed Mastiff having a wooden collar about his neck, inquired of 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 salt 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."
Some find fault with those things by which they are chiefly benefited.
THE WILD BOAR AND THE FOX.
A WlLD 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."
To be well prepared for war is the best guarantee of peace.
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 present earnestly recommended bricks, as affording the best materials for an effectual resistance. A Carpenter with equal energy proposed timber, as providing a preferable method of defence. 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 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. The crowd as he passed along made lowly prostration before the Image. The Ass, thinking that they bowed their heads in token of respect for himself, bristled up with pride and 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 take to themselves the credit due to others.
THE TWO TRAVELLERS AND THE AXE.
Two men were journeying together in each other's company. 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, when 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 LlON, 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 contumely 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 mine 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 to 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 much the race of man; but could not refuse the request on account 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 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 illtreats his own family.
THE WOLF AND THE SHEPHERDS.
A WOLF passing by, saw some Shepherds in a hut eating for their dinner a haunch of mutton. Approaching them, he said, " What a clamour you would raise, if I were to do as you are doing!"
THE SEASIDE TRAVELLERS.
Some travellers, journeying along the sea-shore, climbed to the summit of a tall cliff, and from thence looking over the sea, saw in the distance what they thought was a large ship, and waited in the hope of seeing it enter the harbour. But as the object on which they looked was driven by the wind nearer to the shore, 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 fagot 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 fagot."
Our mere anticipations of life outrun its realities.
THE BRAZIER AND HIS DOG.
A BRAZIER had a little Dog, which was a great favourite with his master, and his constant companion. While he hammered away at his metals the Dog slept; but when, on the other hand, he went to dinner, and began to eat, the Dog woke up, and wagged his tail, as if he would ask for a share of his meal. His master one day, pretending to be angry, and shaking his stick at him, said, "You wretched little sluggard! what shall I do to you? While I am hammering on the anvil, you sleep on the mat; and when I begin to eat after my toil, you wake up, and wag your tail for food. Do you not know that labour is the source of every blessing, and that none but those who work are entitled to eat?"
THE ASS AND HIS SHADOW.
A TRAVELLER hired an Ass to convey him to a distant place. The day being intensely hot, and the sun shining in its strength, the traveller 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 traveller and the owner of the Ass both claimed it, a violent dispute arose between them as to which of them had the right to it. The owner maintained that he had let the Ass only, and not his Shadow. The traveller asserted that he had, with the hire of the Ass, hired his Shadow also. His quarrel proceeded from words to blows, and while the men fought the Ass galloped off.
In quarrelling about the shadow we often lose the substance.
THE ASS AND HIS MASTERS.
An Ass belonging to a herb-seller, who gave him too little food and too much work, made a petition to Jupiter that he would release him from his present service, and provide him 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 should be the last time that he could grant his request, ordained that he should be sold to a tanner. The Ass finding 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 LION IN A FARM-YARD.
A LlON entered a farm-yard. The farmer, wishing to catch him, shut the gate. The Lion, when he found that he could not escape, 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, when the Lion got off as fast as he could. On his departure the farmer grievously lamented the destruction of his sheep and oxen; when his wife, who had been a spectator of 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 the farm-yard, when you know that you shake in your shoes if you only hear his roar at ever so great 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 of 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 tor this, as it is the statue of the Messenger of the Gods, and the author of all your gain." The Sculptor replied, "Well, if you will buy these, I'll fling you that into the bargain."
THE FOX AND THE WOOD-CUTTER.
A Fox running before the hounds, came across a Wood-cutter felling an oak, and besought him to show him a safe hiding-place. The Wood-cutter advised him to take shelter in his own hut. The Fox crept in, and hid himself in a corner. The huntsman came up, with his hounds, in a few minutes, and inquired of the Wood-cutter 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 hid. 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 Wood-cutter: 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 BlRDCATCHER was about to sit down to a dinner of herbs, when a friend unexpectedly came in. The birdtrap was quite empty, as he had caught nothing. He proceeded to kill a pied Partridge, which he had tamed for a decoy. He entreated thus 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. He thus 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 I and the friend who has come in must have our dinners."
Necessity knows no law.
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. The Wolf, standing at a safe distance, exclaimed, "You have unrighteously taken that which was mine from me." The Lion jeeringly replied, "It was righteously yours, eh? the gift of a friend?"
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 being drowned. A Dove, sitting on a tree overhanging the water, plucked a leaf, and let it fall into the stream close to her. The Ant, climbing on to it, 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. He suddenly threw down the twigs, and thereupon made the Dove take wing.
The grateful heart will always find opportunities to show its gratitude.
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 over 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 tree-top, and endeavoured to do as they had done. Having handled the net, he threw it into the river, but became entangled in the meshes. When drowning, 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 HARES AND THE FROGS.
The Hares, oppressed with a sense of 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 a very numerous body 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 other creatures who yet live are more timorous than ourselves."
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 take him at night, when it was dark, and he was not able to distinguish one bird from the other, and 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.
A word in season is most precious.
THE DOE AND THE LION.
A DOE hard pressed by hunters entered a cave for shelter which belonged 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 FISHERMAN AND THE LITTLE FISH.
A FISHERMAN who lived on the produce of his nets, one day caught a single small fish as the result of his day's labour. The fish, panting convulsively, thus entreated for his life: "O Sir, what good can I be to you, and how little ami 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 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 if he knew where his lair was. "I will," he said, "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 SWOLLEN FOX.
A Fox, very much famished, 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 very sadly. 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 CAMEL AND THE ARAB.
An Arab Camel-driver having completed the lading of his Camel, asked him which he would like best, to go up hill or down hill. 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 MlLLER and his son were driving their Ass to a neighbouring 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," says 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 by the help of a pole endeavoured to carry him on their shoulders over a bridge near the entrance of 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 endeavouring to please everybody he had pleased nobody, and lost his Ass into the bargain.
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. The Mice being continually devoured, kept themselves close in their holes. The Cat, no longer able to get at them, 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 MOUSE AND THE BULL.
A BULL was bitten by a Mouse, and, pained by the wound, tried to capture him. The Mouse first reached his hole in safety, and the Bull dug into the walls with his horns, until wearied, crouching down, he slept by the hole. The Mouse peeping 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. The Mouse murmured forth, "The great do not always prevail. There are times when the small and lowly are the strongest to do mischief."
THE TWO FROGS.
Two Frogs dwelt in the same pool. The pool being 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, on seeing which 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 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; you will have unusually good cheer; come and sup with me to-night."
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 to-day and to-morrow." While he thus congratulated himself, and wagged his tail, as if he would convey a sense of 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."
Uninvited guests seldom meet a welcome.
THE THIEVES AND THE COCK.
Some Thieves broke into a house, and found nothing but a Cock, whom they stole, and got off as fast as they could. On arriving at home they proceeded to kill the Cock, who thus pleaded for his life: "Pray spare me; I am very serviceable to men. I wake them up in the night to their work." "That is the very reason why we must the more kill you," they replied; "for when you wake your neighbours, you entirely put an end to our business."
The safeguards of virtue are hateful to the evil disposed.
THE LION, THE BEAR, AND THE FOX.
A LlON and a Bear seized upon 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, and the Kid lying untouched in the middle, 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 betide us, that we should have fought and belaboured 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 FARMER AND THE FOX.
A Farmer, having a long spite against a Fox for robbing his poultry yard, caught him at last, and, being determined to take an ample revenge, tied some tow 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 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, tilt 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, and 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 SEA-GULL AND THE KITE.
A SEA-GULL having bolted down too large a fish, burst its deep gullet-bag, and lay down on the shore to die. A Kite seeing him, 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 to 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 Ants? "
THE TRAVELLER AND FORTUNE.
A TRAVELLER, wearied with a long journey, lay down overcome with fatigue on the very brink of a deep well. Being within an inch of falling 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 had you fallen 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."
Every one is more or less master of his own fate.
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. The Fox, interrupting him, said, "And how much more beautiful than you am I, who am decorated, not in body, but in mind."
THE LION AND THE HARE.
A LlON came across a Hare, who was fast asleep on her form. 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 not able 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 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 him sit under a wall, which was not safe, he flew towards him, and snatched off with his talons a bundle resting on his head, and on his rising to pursue him he let the bundle fall again. The Peasant taking it up, and returning to the same place, found the wall under which he had been sitting fallen to the ground; and he much marvelled at the requital made him by the Eagle for the service he had rendered him.
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 entreated the idol to make him rich: but in spite of his entreaties he became poorer and poorer. At last, being very wroth, he took his image down from its pedestal, and dashed it against the wall: when its head being 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 honour, 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, entered a cave, which some shepherds had lately occupied. A He-goat was left in it, who 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 once go, 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 distress.
A Lamp soaked with too much oil, and flaring very much, boasted that it gave more light than the sun. A sudden puff of wind arising, it 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 favour to make a division. The Fox accumulated all that they had killed into one large heap, and left to himself the smallest possible morsel. The Lion said, "Who has taught you, my very excellent fellow, the art of division? You are perfect to a fraction." He replied, "I learnt it from the Ass, by witnessing his fate."
Happy is the man who learns from the misfortunes of others.
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 marvel that hairs which are not mine should fly from me, when they have forsaken even the man that owns them: with whom, too, they were born!"
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 MONKEYS AND THEIR MOTHER.
The Monkey, it is said, has two young ones at a birth. The mother fondles one, and nurtures it with the greatest affection and care; but hates and neglects the other. It happened once on a time 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 having started a Hare from his form, after a long run, gave up the chase. A Goat -herd seeing him stop, mocked him, saying, "The little one is the best runner of the two." The Hound replied, "You do not see the difference between us: I was only running for a dinner, but he, for his life."
THE OAK AND THE WOODCUTTERS.
The Woodcutters cut down a Mountain Oak, split it in pieces, making wedges of its own branches for dividing the trunk, and for saving their labour. 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 branches."
Misfortunes springing from ourselves are the hardest to bear.
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, or to scare him away, saw a wagon heavily laden with wood, and went and purposely placed his head under the wheels, and said, "I and my enemy shall thus perish together."
THE PEACOCK AND THE CRANE.
A PEACOCK spreading its gorgeous tail mocked a Crane that passed by, ridiculing the ashen hue of its plumage, and saying, "I am robed, like a king, in gold and purple, and all the colours of the rainbow; while you have not a bit of colour on your wings." "True," replied the Crane; "but I soar to the heights of heaven, and lift up my voice to the stars, while you walk below, like a cock, among the birds of the dunghill."
Fine feathers don't make fine birds.
THE HEN AND THE GOLDEN EGGS.
A Cottager and his wife had a Hen, which laid every day a golden egg. They supposed that it must contain a great lump of gold in its inside, and killed it in order that they might get it, when to their surprise they found 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 day by day assured.
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, and stumbled and fell, and not being able to rise on account of his load, he 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 misfortunes.
THE CROW AND RAVEN.
A CROW was very jealous of the Raven, because he was considered a bird of good omen, and always attracted the attention of men, as indicating by his flight the good or evil course of future events. Seeing some travellers approaching, she flew up into a tree, and perching herself on one of the branches, cawed as loudly as she could. The travellers turned towards the sound, and wondered what it boded, 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 made a petition to 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 from it a new handle to his axe, than he began to use it, and quickly felled with his strokes the noblest giants of the forest. An old oak, lamenting when too late the destruction of his companions, said to a neighbouring cedar, "The first step has lost us all. If we had not given up the rights of the ash, we might yet have retained our own privileges, and have stood for ages."
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 afar off, 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 WOLVES AND THE SHEEP-DOGS.
The Wolves thus addressed the Sheep-dogs: "Why should you, who are like us in so many things, not be entirely of one mind with us, and live with us as brothers should? We differ from you in one point only. We live in freedom, but you bow down to, and slave for, men; who, in return for your services, flog you with whips, and put collars on your necks. They make you also guard their sheep, and while they eat the mutton throw only the bones to you. If you will be persuaded by us, you will give us the sheep, and we will enjoy them in common, till we all are surfeited." The Dogs listened favourably to these proposals, and, entering the den of the Wolves, they were set upon and torn to pieces.
THE BOWMAN AND LION.
A VERY skilful Bowman went to the mountains in search of game. All the beasts of the forest fled at his approach. The Lion alone challenged him to combat. The Bowman immediately let fly 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 Lion, thus wounded, rushed away in great fear, and on a Fox exhorting him to be of good courage, and not to run away 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?"
A man who can strike from a distance is no pleasant neighbour.
When man first saw the Camel, he was so frightened at his vast size that he fled away. After a time, perceiving the meekness and gentleness of his 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 set a child to drive him.
Use serves to overcome dread.
THE CRAB AND THE FOX.
A Crab, forsaking the sea-shore, chose a neighbouring green meadow as its feeding ground. A Fox came across him, and being very much famished ate him up. Just as he was on the point of being eaten, he said, "I well deserve my fate; for what business had I on the land, when by my nature and habits I am only adapted fcr 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 thought with herself 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.
Covetousness overreacheth itself.
THE ASS AND THE OLD SHEPHERD.
A SHEPHERD watched his Ass feeding in a meadow. Being alarmed on a sudden by the cries of the enemy, he appealed to the Ass to fly with him, lest they should both be captured. He 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.
The Kites of old time had, equally with the Swans, 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 blessings.
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 ye were, and with whom ye were fighting."
Count the cost before you commit yourselves.
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 and sick, and unable to move. A swarm of hungry blood-sucking flies settled upon him. A Hedgehog passing by compassionated his sufferings, 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 DOG AND THE HARE.
A HOUND having started a Hare on the hill-side pursued her for some distance: at one time biting her with his teeth as if he would take her life, and at another time 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 colours. If you are a friend, why do you bite me so hard? if an enemy, why do you fawn on me?"
They are no friends whom you know not whether to trust or to 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 comes?"
Two blacks do not make one white.
A Mule, frolicsome from want of work and from overmuch 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 EAGLE, THE CAT, AND THE WILD SOW.
An Eagle had made her nest at the top of a lofty oak. A Cat, having found a convenient hole, kittened in the middle of the trunk; and a Wild Sow, with her young, had taken shelter in a hollow at its foot. The Cat resolved to destroy by her arts 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 may see daily digging up the earth, wishes to uproot the oak, that she may on its fall seize our families as food for her young." Having thus deprived the Eagle of her senses through terror, she crept down to the cave of the Sow, and said, "Your children are in great danger; for as soon as you shall 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 look-out 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 each, with their families, perished from hunger, and afforded an ample provision to the Cat and her kittens.
THE CROW AND THE PITCHER.
A CROW perishing with thirst saw a pitcher, and, hoping to find water, flew to it with great 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 WOLF AND THE FOX.
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 gave him, with unanimous consent, the name of "Lion." The Wolf, with a want 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 you really show like a lion among wolves, whereas in a herd of lions you are a wolf."
A Wizard, sitting in the market-place, told the fortunes of the passers-by. A person ran up in great haste, and announced to him that the doors of his house had been broken open, and that all his goods were being stolen. He sighed heavily, and hastened away as fast as he could run. A neighbour saw him running, and said, "Oh! you fellow there! you say you can foretell the fortunes of others; how is it you did not foresee your own?"
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, beguiling herself of her disappointment and saying: "The Grapes are sour, and not ripe as I thought."
THE SERPENT AND THE EAGLE.
A SERPENT and an Eagle were struggling with each other in the throes of a 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, let fly his poison, and injected it 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 up aloft.
THE TWO FROGS.
Two Frogs were neighbours. The 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. He that lived in the pond warned his friend, and entreated him to change his residence, and 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 remove from a place to which he had become accustomed. A few days afterwards a heavy wagon passed through the gully, and crushed him to death under its wheels.
A wilful man will have his way to his own hurt.
THE 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; when the Hart, supposing all danger to have passed, 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 killed it. The Hart, at the point of death, groaned out these words, "I am rightly served; for I ought not to have maltreated the Vine that saved me."
THE THIEF AND THE INNKEEPER.
A THIEF hired a room in a tavern, and stayed some days, 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, for I wish to leave them in your hands. 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 as a wolf, as he did 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 howl like a wolf. The Innkeeper, frightened lest he should be attacked, left his new coat in his hand, and ran as fast as he could into the inn for safety. The Thief made off with his new coat, and did not return again to the inn.
Every tale is not to be believed.
THE KID AND THE WOLF.
A Kid, returning without protection from the pasture; was pursued by a Wolf. He turned round, and said to the Wolf: "I know, friend Wolf, that I must be your prey; but before I die, I would ask of you one favour, that you will play me a tune, to which I may dance." The Wolf complied, and while he was piping, and the Kid was dancing, the hounds, hearing the sound, came up, and, issuing forth, gave chase to the Wolf. The Wolf, turning to the Kid, said, "It is just what I deserve; for I, who am only a butcher, should not have turned piper to please you."
A Walnut-tree standing by the roadside bore an abundant crop of fruit. The passers-by broke its branches with stones and sticks for the sake of the nuts. The Walnut-tree piteously exclaimed, "O wretched me! that those whom I cheer with my fruit should repay me with these painful requitals!"
THE GNAT AND THE LION.
A GNAT came and said to a Lion, "I do not 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 — so can 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 itself upon the Lion, and stung him on the nostrils and the parts of the face devoid of hair. The Lion, trying to crush him, 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 demanded of the Monkey if he were an Athenian, who replied that he was, and that he was descended from one of the most noble families in that city. He then inquired if he knew the Piræus (the famous harbour of Athens). The Monkey, supposing that a man was meant, 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, painting himself white, joined himself to them, that he might share their plentiful maintenance. The Doves as long as he was silent, supposing him to be one of themselves, admitted him to their cote; but when, one day forgetting himself, he began to chatter, they, discovering his true character, drove him forth, pecking him with their beaks. Failing to obtain food among the Doves, he betook himself again to the Jackdaws. They too, not recognising him on account of his colour, expelled him from living with them. So desiring two objects, he obtained neither.
THE HORSE AND THE STAG.
The Horse had the plain entirely to himself. A Stag intruded into his domain, and shared his pasture. The Horse desiring to revenge himself on the stranger, requested 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, that he would contrive effectual 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 FOX AND THE MONKEY.
A Fox and a Monkey were travelling together on the same road. As they journeyed, they passed through a cemetery full of monuments. "All these monuments which you see," said the Monkey, "are erected in honour of my ancestors, who were in their day freed men, and citizens of great renown." The Fox replied, "You have chosen a most appropriate subject for your falsehoods, as I am sure none of your ancestors will be able to contradict you."
A false tale often betrays itself.
THE MAN AND HIS WIFE.
A Man had a Wife who made herself hated by all the members of his household. He wished to find out if she had the same effect on the persons in her father's house. He therefore made some excuse to send her home on a visit to her father. After a short time she returned, when he inquired how she had got on, and how the servants had treated her. She replied, "The neatherds 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 of the day!"
Straws show how the wind blows.
THE THIEF AND THE HOUSE-DOG.
A THIEF came in the night to break into a house. He brought with him several slices of meat, that he might pacify the House-dog, so that he should 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 unekpected favours to myself, you have some private ends to accomplish for your own benefit, and for my master's injury "
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 made the Horse free of his oats, gave the Ox abundance of hay, and fed the Dog with meat from his own table. Grateful for these favours, they determined to repay him to the best of their ability. They divided for this purpose the term of his life between them, and each endowed one portion of it with the qualities which chiefly characterised himself. The Horse chose his earliest years, and endowed them with his own attributes: hence every man is in his youth impetuous, headstrong, and obstinate in maintaining his own opinion. The Ox took under his patronage the next term of life, and therefore man in his middle age is fond of work, devoted to labour, and resolute to amass wealth, and to husband his resources. The end of life was reserved to 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 FOX AND THE LION.
A Fox who had never yet seen a Lion, when he fell in with him by a certain chance for the first time in the forest, was so frightened that he was near dying with fear. On his meeting with 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, leapt upon him, and, being instantly caught, was 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 full many a trap and snare, observing from a safe distance the trick of his crafty foe, 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 traveller, passing by, for help. The traveller, instead of holding out a helping hand, stood by unconcernedly, and scolded the boy for his imprudence. "Oh, sir!" cried the youth, "pray help me now, and scold me afterwards."
Counsel, without help, is useless.
THE APES AND THE TWO TRAVELLERS.
Two men, one of whom always spoke the truth and the other told nothing but lies, were travelling 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 laid hold of, 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 should be arranged in a long row on his right hand and on his left, and that a throne should be placed for him, as was the custom among men. After these preparations he signified his will 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 Traveller 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 a handsome present to be given to the flatterer. On this the truthful Traveller thought within 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 shall 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. The Shepherd on his return finding his flock destroyed, exclaimed: "I have been rightly served; why did I trust my sheep to a Wolf?"