Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Farmer and the Stork

A Farmer placed his nets on his newly sown plough lands, and caught a quantity of Cranes, which came to pick up his seed. With them he trapped a Stork also. The Stork, having his leg fractured by the net, earnestly besought the Farmer to spare his life.

"Pray, save me, Master," he said, "and let me go free this once. My broken limb should excite your pity. Besides, I am no Crane, I am a Stork, a bird of excellent character; and see how I love and slave for my father and mother. Look too at my feathers, they are not the least like to those of a Crane."

The Farmer laughed aloud, and said: "It may be all as you say; I only know this, I have taken you with these robbers, the Cranes, and you must die in their company."


Birds of a feather flock together.
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The Partridge and the Fowler

A Fowler caught a Partridge, and was about to kill him. The Partridge earnestly besought him to spare his life, saying: "Pray, master, permit me to live, and I will entice many Partridges to you in recompense for your mercy to me." The Fowler replied: "I shall now with the less scruple take your life, because you are willing to save it at the cost of betraying your friends and relations;" and without more ado he twisted his neck and put him in his bag with his other game.

Those who would sacrifice their friends to save themselves from harm are not entitled to mercy.
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The Stag and the Fawn

A Stag, grown old and mischievous, was, according to custom, stamping with his foot, making offers with his head, and bellowing so terribly that the whole herd quaked for fear of him; when one of the little Fawns, coming up, addressed him thus:

"Pray, what is the reason that
you, who are so formidable at all other times, if you do but hear the cry of the hounds, are ready to fly out of your skin for fear?"

"What
you observe is true," replied the Stag, "though I know not how to account for it. I am indeed vigorous and able, and often resolve that nothing shall ever dismay my courage; but, alas! I no sooner hear the voice of a hound but my spirits fail me, and I cannot help making off as fast as my legs can carry me."

The greatest braggarts are the greatest cowards.
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The Ass, the Cock, and the Lion

An Ass and a Cock were together, when a Lion, desperate from hunger, approached. 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. 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.
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The Boasting Traveler

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

Cure a boaster by putting his words to the test.
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The Goat and the Ass

A Man once kept a Goat and an Ass. The Goat, envying the Ass on account of his greater abundance of food, said: "How shamefully you are treated; at one time grinding in the mill, and at another carrying heavy burdens;" and he further advised him that he should pretend to be epileptic, and fall into a deep ditch and so obtain rest.

The Ass gave
credence to his words, and, falling into a ditch, was very much bruised. His master, sending for a leech, asked his advice. He bade him pour upon the wounds the blood of a Goat. They at once killed the Goat, and so healed the Ass.

In injuring others we are apt to receive a greater injury.
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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."

Do not presume to teach your elders.
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The Laborer and the Snake

A Snake, having made his hole close to the porch of a cottage, inflicted a severe bite on the Cottager's infant son, of which he died, to the great grief of his parents.

The father resolved to kill the Snake, and
the next day, on its coming out of its hole for food, took up his axe; but, making too much haste to hit him as he wriggled away, missed his head, and cut off only the end of his tail. After some time, the Cottager, afraid lest the Snake should bite him also, endeavored to make peace, and placed some bread and salt in his hole.

The Snake said:
"There can henceforth be no peace between us; for whenever I see you I shall remember the loss of my tail, and whenever you see me you will be thinking of the death of your son."

It is hard to forget injuries in the presence of him who caused the injury.
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The North Wind and the Sun

The North Wind and the Sun disputed which was the more powerful, and agreed that he should be declared the victor who could first strip a wayfaring man of his clothes. The North Wind first tried his power, and blew with all his might; but the keener became his blasts, the closer the Traveler wrapped his cloak around him, till at last, resigning all hope of victory, he called upon the Sun to see what he could do.

The Sun
suddenly shone out with all his warmth. The Traveler no sooner felt his genial rays than he took off one garment after another, and at last, fairly overcome with heat, undressed, and bathed in a stream that lay in his path.

Persuasion is better than Force.
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The Geese and the Cranes

The Geese and the Cranes fed in the same meadow. A bird-catcher came to ensnare them in his nets. The Cranes, being light of wing, fled away at his approach; while the Geese, being slower of flight and heavier in their bodies, were captured.

Those who are caught are not always the most guilty.
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The Blind Man and the Whelp

A Blind Man was accustomed to distinguish different animals by touching them with his hands. The whelp of a Wolf was brought him, with a request that he would feel it, and say what it was. He felt it, and being in doubt, said: "I do not quite know whether it is the cub of a Fox, or the whelp of a Wolf; but this I know full well, that it would not be safe to admit him to the sheepfold."

Evil tendencies are shown early in life.
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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 favor, 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 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."

Every one should keep his own colors.
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The Fowler and the Ringdove

A Fowler took his gun, and went into the woods a shooting. He spied a Ringdove among the branches of an oak, and intended to kill it. He clapped the piece to his shoulder, and took his aim accordingly. But, just as he was going to pull the trigger, an adder, which he had trod
upon under the grass, stung him so painfully in the leg that he was forced to quit his design, and threw his gun down in a passion.

The
poison immediately infected his blood, and his whole body began to mortify; which, when he perceived, he could not help owning it to be just. "Fate," said he, "has brought destruction upon me while I was contriving the death of another."

Men often fall into the trap which they prepare for others.
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The Sick Stag

A sick Stag lay down in a quiet corner of his pasture-ground. His companions came in great numbers to inquire after his health, and each one helped himself to a share of the food which had been placed for his use; so that he died, not from his sickness, but from the failure of the means of living.

Evil companions bring more hurt than profit.
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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, to relax my vigilance, or even to gain my regard by these gifts, you will be greatly mistaken. This sudden kindness at your hands will only make me more watchful, lest under these unexpected favors to myself you have some private ends to accomplish for your own benefit, and for my master's injury. Besides, this is not the time that I am usually fed, which makes me all the more suspicions of your intentions."

He who offers bribes needs watching, for his intentions are not honest.
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The Dogs and the Fox

Some Dogs, finding the skin of a lion, began to tear it in pieces with their teeth. A Fox, seeing them, said: "If this lion were alive, you would soon find out that his claws were stronger than your teeth."

It is easy to kick a man that is down.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Mouse and the Boasting Rat

A Mouse lived in a granary which became, after a while, the frequent resort of a Cat. The Mouse was in great fear and did not know what to do. In her strait, she bethought herself of a Rat who lived not far away, and who had said in her hearing a hundred times that he was not afraid of any cat living.

She resolved to visit the bold Rat and ask him to drive the Cat away. She found the Rat in his hole and relating her story, besought his help. "Pooh!" said the Rat, "You should be bold as I am; go straight about your affairs, and do not mind the Cat. I will soon follow you, and drive him away."

He thought, now, he must do something to make good his boast. So he collected all the Rats in the neighborhood, resolved to frighten the Cat by numbers. But when they all came to the granary, they found that the Cat had already caught the foolish Mouse, and a single growl from him sent them all scampering to their holes.


Do not rely upon a boaster.
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The Vine and the Goat

A Vine was luxuriant in the time of vintage with leaves and grapes. A Goat, passing by, nibbled its young tendrils and its leaves.

The Vine
said: "Why do you thus injure me and crop my leaves? Is there no young grass left? But I shall not have to wait long for my just revenge; for if you now crop my leaves, and cut me down to my root, I shall provide the wine to pour over you when you are led as a victim to the sacrifice."

Retribution is certain.
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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."

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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The Monkey and the Cat

A Monkey and a Cat lived in the same family, and it was hard to tell which was the greatest thief. One day, as they were roaming about together, they spied some chestnuts roasting in the ashes.

"Come," said the cunning Monkey, "we shall not go without our dinner to-day. Your claws are better than mine for the purpose; you pull them out of the hot ashes and you shall have half."

Pussy pulled them out one by one, burning her claws very much in doing so. When she had stolen them all, she found that the Monkey had eaten every one.


A thief cannot be trusted, even by another thief.
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The Two Soldiers and the Robber

Two Soldiers, traveling together, were set upon by a Robber. The one fled away; the other stood his ground, and defended himself with his stout right hand. The Robber being slain, the timid companion runs up and draws his sword, and then, throwing back his traveling cloak, says: "I'll at him, and I'll take care he shall learn whom he has attacked."

On this, he who had fought with the Robber made answer: "I only wish that you had helped me just now, even if it had been only with those words, for I should have been the more encouraged, believing them to be true; but now put up your sword in its sheath and hold your equally useless tongue, till you can deceive others who do not know you. I, indeed, who have experienced with what speed you ran away, know right well that no dependence can be placed on your valor."


When a coward is once found out, his pretensions of valor are useless.
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The Bear and the Two Travelers

Two men were traveling together, when a bear suddenly met them on their path. One of them climbed up quickly into a tree, and concealed himself in the branches. The other, seeing that he must be attacked, fell flat on the ground, and when the Bear came up and felt him with his snout, and smelt him all over, he held his breath, and feigned the appearance of death as much as he could.

The Bear soon left him, for it is said he
will not touch a dead body. When he was quite gone, the other traveler descended from the tree, and, accosting his friend, jocularly inquired "what it was the Bear had whispered in his ear?" His friend replied: "He gave me this advice: Never travel with a friend who deserts you at the approach of danger."

Misfortune tests the sincerity of friends.
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The Wolf and the Horse

A Wolf coming out of a field of oats met with a Horse, and thus addressed him: "I would advise you to go into that field. It is full of capital oats, which I have left untouched for you, as you are a friend the very sound of whose teeth it will be a pleasure to me to hear."

The
Horse replied: "If oats had been the food for wolves, you would never have indulged your ears at the cost of your belly."

Men of evil reputation, when they perform a good deed, fail to get credit for it.
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The Cat and the Cock

A Cat caught a Cock, and took counsel with himself how he might find a reasonable excuse for eating him. He accused him as being a nuisance to men, by crowing in the night time, and not permitting them to sleep.

The
Cock defended himself by saying that he did this for the benefit of men, that they might rise betimes, for their labors. The Cat replied: "Although you abound in specious apologies, I shall not remain supperless;" and he made a meal of him.

It does no good to deny those who make false accusations knowingly.
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The Wolf and the Crane

A Wolf, having a bone stuck in his throat, hired a Crane, for a large sum, to put her head into his throat and draw out the bone. When the Crane had extracted the bone, and demanded the promised payment, the Wolf, grinning and grinding his teeth, exclaimed: "Why, you have surely
already a sufficient recompense, in having been permitted to draw out your head in safety from the mouth and jaws of a Wolf."

In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.
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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 which had been offered up to them?"

We must make friends in prosperity, if we would have their help in adversity.
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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."

People are not to be judged by their coats.
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The Mountain in Labor

A Mountain was once greatly agitated. Loud groans and noises were heard; and crowds of people came from all parts to see what was the matter. While they were assembled in anxious expectation of some terrible calamity, out came a Mouse.

Don't make much ado about nothing.
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The Old Man and Death

An old man was employed in cutting wood in the forest, and, in carrying the fagots into the city for sale. One day, being very wearied with his long journey, he sat down by the wayside, and, throwing down his load, besought "Death" to come.

"Death" immediately appeared, in answer to his
summons, and asked for what reason he had called him. The old man replied: "That, lifting up the load, you may place it again upon my shoulders."

We do not always like to be taken at our word.
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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.
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The Swallow and the Crow

The Swallow and the Crow had a contention about their plumage. The Crow put an end to the dispute by saying: "Your feathers are all very well in the spring, but mine protect me against the winter."

Fine weather friends are not worth much.
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The Fox and the Crow

A Crow, having stolen a bit of flesh, perched in a tree, and held it in her beak. A Fox, seeing her, longed to possess himself of the flesh, 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, having greater
admiration for the meat than for the crow. But the Crow, all her vanity aroused by the cunning flattery, and 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."

He who listens to flattery is not wise, for it has no good purpose.
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The Shepherd and the Sheep

A Shepherd, driving his Sheep to a wood, saw an oak of unusual size, full of acorns, and, spreading his cloak under the branches, he climbed up into the tree, and shook down the acorns. The sheep, eating the acorns, frayed and tore the cloak.

The Shepherd coming down, and seeing what was done, said: "O you most ungrateful creatures! you provide wool to make garments for all other men, but you destroy the clothes of him who feeds you."

The basest ingratitude is that which injures those who serve us.
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The Ass and his Purchaser

A man wished to purchase an Ass, and agreed with its owner that he should try him before he bought him. He took the Ass home, and put him in the straw-yard with his other Asses, upon which he left all the others, and joined himself at once to the most idle and the greatest eater of them all.

The man put a halter on him, and led him back to his owner, saying: "I do not need a trial; I know that he will be just such another as the one whom he chose for his companion."


A man is known by the company he keeps.
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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 be a very simple fellow, if I were to forgo my certain gain for an uncertain profit."
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The Dogs and the Hides

Some Dogs, famished with hunger, saw some cow-hides steeping in a river. Not being able to reach them, they agreed to drink up the river; but it fell out that they burst themselves with drinking long before they reached the hides.

Attempt not impossibilities.
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The Eagle and the Kite

An Eagle, overwhelmed with sorrow, sat upon the branches of a tree, in company with a Kite.

"Why," said the Kite, "do I see you with such a
rueful look?"

"I seek," she replied, "for a mate suitable for me, and am
not able to find one."

"Take me," returned the Kite; "I am much stronger
than you are." "Why, are you able to secure the means of living by your plunder?" "Well, I have often caught and carried away an ostrich in my talons."

The Eagle, persuaded by these words, accepted him as her mate.
Shortly after the nuptials, the Eagle said: "Fly off, and bring me back the ostrich you promised me."

The Kite, soaring aloft into the air,
brought back the shabbiest possible mouse. "Is this," said the Eagle, "the faithful fulfillment of your promise to me?"

The Kite replied:
"That I might attain to your royal hand, there is nothing that I would not have promised, however much I knew that I must fail in the performance."

Promises of a suitor must be taken with caution.
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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."

Nothing can compensate us for the loss of our liberty.
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The Fisherman Piping

A Fisherman skilled in music took his flute and his nets to the sea-shore. Standing on a projecting rock he played several tunes, in the hope that the fish, attracted by his melody, would of their own accord dance into his net, which he had placed below. At last, having long waited in vain, he laid aside his flute, and casting his net into the sea, made an excellent haul.
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The Rat and the Elephant

A Rat, traveling on the highway, met a huge elephant, bearing his royal master and his suite, and also his favorite cat and dog, and parrot and monkey. The great beast and his attendants were followed by an admiring crowd, taking up all of the road.

"What fools you are," said the Rat to
the people, "to make such a hubbub over an elephant. Is it his great bulk that you so much admire? It can only frighten little boys and girls, and I can do that as well. I am a beast; as well as he, and have as many legs and ears and eyes. He has no right to take up all the highway, which belongs as much to me as to him."

At this moment, the cat
spied the rat, and, jumping to the ground, soon convinced him that he was not an elephant.

Because we are like the great in one respect we must not think we are like them in all.

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The Monkey and the Camel

The beasts of the forest gave a splendid entertainment, at which the Monkey stood up and danced. Having vastly delighted the assembly, he sat down amidst universal applause. The Camel, envious of the praises bestowed on the Monkey, and desirous to divert to himself the favor of the guests, proposed to stand up in his turn, and dance for their amusement. He moved about in so very ridiculous a manner, that the Beasts, in a fit of indignation, set upon him with clubs, and drove him out of the assembly.

It is absurd to ape our betters.
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The Sea-gull and the Kite

A Sea-gull, who was more at home swimming on the sea than walking on the land, was in the habit of catching live fish for its food. One day, having bolted down too large a fish, it burst its deep gullet-bag, and lay down on the shore to die.

A Kite, seeing him, and thinking him a
land bird like itself, 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.
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The Seaside Travelers

Some travelers, 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 harbor. 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.
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Monday, August 18, 2008

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 neighboring cedar: "The first step has lost us all. If we had not given up the rights of the ash, we might yet have retained our own privileges and have stood for ages."

In yielding the rights of others, we may endanger our own.
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The King's Son and the Painted Lion

A King who had one only son, fond of martial exercises, had a dream in which he was warned that his son would be killed by a lion. Afraid lest the dream should prove true, he built for his son a pleasant palace, and adorned its walls for his amusement with all kinds of animals of the
size of life, among which was the picture of a lion.

When the young
Prince saw this, his grief at being thus confined burst out afresh, and standing near the lion, he thus spoke: "O you most detestable of animals! through a lying dream of my father's, which he saw in his sleep, I am shut up on your account in this palace as if I had been a girl. What shall I now do to you?"

With these words he stretched out his
hands toward a thorn-tree, meaning to cut a stick from its branches that he might beat the lion, when one of its sharp prickles pierced his finger, and caused great pain and inflammation, so that the young Prince fell down in a fainting fit. A violent fever suddenly set in, from which he died not many days after.

We had better bear our troubles bravely than try to escape them.
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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 from me that which was mine."

The Lion jeeringly
replied: "It was righteously yours, eh? Was it the gift of a friend, or did you get it by purchase? If you did not get it in one way or the other, how then did you come by it?"

One thief is no better than another.
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The Ass Eating Thistles

An Ass was loaded with good provisions of several sorts, which, in time of harvest, he was carrying into the field for his master and the reapers to dine upon. By the way he met with a fine large Thistle, and, being very hungry, began to mumble it.

And while he was doing so he
entered into this reflection: "How many greedy epicures would think themselves happy, amidst such a variety of delicate viands as I now carry! But to me this bitter, prickly Thistle is more savory and relishing than the most exquisite and sumptuous banquet. Let others choose what they may for food, but give me, above everything, a fine juicy thistle like this and I will be content."

Every one to his taste: one man's meat is another man's poison, and one man's poison is another man's meat; what is rejected by one person may be valued very highly by another.
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Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Lion and the Mouse


A Lion was awakened from sleep by a Mouse running over his face. Rising up in anger, he caught him and was about to kill him, when the Mouse piteously entreated, saying: "If you would only spare my life, I would be sure to repay your kindness." The Lion laughed and let him go.

It
happened shortly after this that the Lion was caught by some hunters, who bound him by strong ropes to the ground. The Mouse, recognizing his roar, came up and gnawed the rope with his teeth, and, setting him free, exclaimed:

"You ridiculed the idea of my ever being able to help
you, not expecting to receive from me any repayment of your favor; but now you know that it is possible for even a Mouse to confer benefits on a Lion."

No one is too weak to do good.
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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.
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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."


No one should be blamed for his infirmities.
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The Horse and the Ass

A Horse, proud of his fine trappings, met an Ass on the highway. The Ass being heavily laden moved slowly out of the way. "Hardly," said the Horse, "can I resist kicking you with my heels."

The Ass held his peace,
and made only a silent appeal to the justice of the gods. Not long afterward, the Horse, having become broken-winded, was sent by his owner to the farm.

The Ass, seeing him drawing a dung-cart, thus derided him.
"Where, O boaster, are now all thy gay trappings, thou who art thyself reduced to the condition you so lately treated with contempt?"

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Birds, the Beasts, and the Bat

The Birds waged war with the Beasts, and each party were by turns the conquerors. A Bat, fearing the uncertain issues of the fight, always betook himself to that side which was the strongest. When peace was proclaimed, his deceitful conduct was apparent to both the combatants; he was driven forth from the light of day, and henceforth concealed himself in dark hiding-places, flying always alone and at night.

Those who practice deceit must expect to be shunned.
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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.
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The Charcoal-Burner and the Fuller

A Charcoal-burner carried on his trade in his own house. One day he met a friend, a Fuller, and entreated him to come and live with him, saying that they should be far better neighbors, and that their housekeeping expenses would be lessened. The Fuller replied: "The arrangement is impossible as far as I am concerned, for whatever I should whiten, you would immediately blacken again with your charcoal."

Like will draw like.
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The Ox and the Frog

An Ox, drinking at a pool, trod on a brood of young frogs, and crushed one of them to death. The mother, coming up and missing one of her sons, inquired of his brothers what had become of him.

"He is dead, dear mother; for just now a very huge beast with four great feet came to the pool, and crushed him to death with his cloven heel."

The Frog, puffing
herself out, inquired, "If the beast was as big as that in size."

"Cease, mother, to puff yourself out," said her son, "and do not be
angry; for you would, I assure you, sooner burst than successfully imitate the hugeness of that monster."

Impossible things we cannot hope to attain, and it is of no use to try.
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The Man and the Lion

A Man and a Lion traveled together through the forest. They soon began to boast of their respective superiority to each other in strength and prowess. As they were disputing, they passed a statue, carved in stone, which represented "A Lion strangled by a Man."

The traveler pointed to
it and said: "See there! How strong we are, and how we prevail over even the king of beasts."

The Lion replied: "This statue was made by one of you men. If we Lions knew how to erect statues, you would see the man placed under the paw of the Lion."


One story is good till another is told.
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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?"

An evil mind will show in evil action, sooner or later.
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The Crab and its Mother


A Crab said to her son: "Why do you walk so one-sided, my child? It is far more becoming to go straight forward."

The young Crab replied:
"Quite true, dear mother; and if you will show me the straight way, I will promise to walk in it." The mother tried in vain, and submitted without remonstrance to the reproof of her child.

Example is more powerful than precept.
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The Boys and the Frogs

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

What we do in sport often makes great trouble for others.
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The Lion and the Dolphin

A Lion, roaming by the sea-shore, saw a Dolphin lift up its head out of the waves, and asked him to contract an alliance with him; 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 afterward 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."

Let every one stick to his own element.
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The Fighting Cocks and the Eagle

Two Game Cocks were fiercely fighting for the mastery of the farm-yard. One at last put the other to flight. The vanquished Cock skulked away and hid himself in a quiet corner. The conqueror, flying up to a high wall, flapped his wings and crowed exultingly with all his might. An Eagle sailing through the air pounced upon him, and carried him off in his talons. The vanquished Cock immediately came out of his corner, and ruled henceforth with undisputed mastery.

Pride goes before destruction.
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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?"
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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 favor 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.

Let those who propose be willing to perform.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

The Dove and the Crow

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

To enjoy our blessings we must have freedom.
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The Lion and the Fox

A Fox entered into partnership with a Lion, on the pretense of becoming his servant. Each undertook his proper duty in accordance with his own nature and powers. The Fox discovered and pointed out the prey, the Lion sprang on it and seized it.

The Fox soon became jealous of the Lion
carrying off the Lion's share, and said that he would no longer find out the prey, but would capture it on his own account. The next day he attempted to snatch a lamb from the fold, but fell himself a prey to the huntsman and his hounds.

Keep to your place, if you would succeed.
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The Old Man and the Three Young Men

As an old man was planting a tree, three young men came along and began to make sport of him, saying: "It shows your foolishness to be planting a tree at your age. The tree cannot bear fruit for many years, while you must very soon die. What is the use of your wasting your time in providing pleasure for others to share long after you are dead?"

The old
man stopped in his labor and replied: "Others before me provided for my happiness, and it is my duty to provide for those who shall come after me. As for life, who is sure of it for a day? You may all die before me."

The old man's words came true; one of the young men went on a
voyage at sea and was drowned, another went to war and was shot, and the third fell from a tree and broke his neck.

We should not think wholly of ourselves, and we should remember that life is uncertain.
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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, he would contrive very 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.

He who seeks to injure others often injures only himself.
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The Shepherd and the Wolf.

A Shepherd once found a young Wolf, and brought it up, and after a while taught it to steal lambs from the neighboring flocks. The Wolf, having shown himself an apt pupil, said to the Shepherd: "Since you have taught me to steal, you must keep a sharp look-out, or you will lose some of your own flock."

The vices we teach may be practiced against us.
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The Mother and the Wolf

A famished Wolf was prowling about in the morning in search of food. As he passed the door of a cottage built in the forest, he heard a mother say to her child: "Be quiet, or I will throw you out of the window, and the Wolf shall eat you."

The Wolf sat all day waiting at the door. In
the evening he heard the same woman fondling her child, and saying: "He is quiet now, and if the Wolf should come, we will kill him."

The Wolf,
hearing these words, went home, gaping with cold and hunger.

Be not in haste to believe what is said in anger or thoughtlessness.
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The Huntsman and the Fisherman

A Huntsman, returning with his dogs from the field, fell in by chance with a Fisherman, bringing home a basket 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. 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."

Pleasures are heightened by abstinence.
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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."

Stoop to conquer.
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The Man and the Satyr

A Man and a Satyr once formed a bond of alliance. One very cold wintry day, as they talked together, the Man put his fingers to his mouth and blew on them. On the Satyr inquiring the reason, he told him that he did it to warm his hands.

Later on in the day they sat down to eat, the food
prepared being quite scalding. The Man raised one of his dishes towards his mouth and blew in it. On the Satyr again inquiring the reason, he said that he did it to cool the meat.

"I can no longer consider you as
a friend," said the Satyr; "a fellow who with the same breath blows hot and cold I could never trust."

A man who talks for both sides is not to be trusted by either.
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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."

Those who do not know their right place must be taught it.
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The Milkmaid and her Pot of Milk.

A Maid was carrying her pail of milk to the farm-house, 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 market when poultry will fetch the highest price; so that by the end of the year I shall have money enough to buy a new gown. In this dress I will go to the Christmas junketing, 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-pot to the ground, and broke into a hundred pieces, and all her fine schemes perished in a moment.

Count not your chickens before they are hatched.
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The Vain Jackdaw.

Jupiter determined, it is said, to create a sovereign over the birds, and made proclamation that, on a certain day, they should all present themselves before him, when he would himself choose the most beautiful among them to be king.

The Jackdaw, knowing his own ugliness, searched
through the woods and fields, and collected the feathers which had fallen from the wings of his companions, and stuck them in all parts of
his body.

When the appointed day arrived, and the birds had assembled
before Jupiter, the Jackdaw also made his appearance in his many-feathered finery. On Jupiter proposing to make him king, on account of the beauty of his plumage, the birds indignantly protested, and each plucking from him his own feathers, the Jackdaw was again nothing but a Jackdaw.

Hope not to succeed in borrowed plumes.
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The Ass and the Charger

An Ass congratulated a Horse on being so begrudgingly and carefully provided for, while he himself had scarcely enough to eat, nor even that without hard work. But when war broke out, the heavy armed soldier mounted the Horse, and rushed into the very midst of the enemy, and the Horse, being wounded, fell dead on the battle-field.

Then the Ass,
seeing all these things, changed his mind, and commiserated the Horse, saying: "How much more fortunate am I than a charger. I can remain at home in safety while he is exposed to all the perils of war."

Be not hasty to envy the condition of others.
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The Boy and the Nettle

A Boy was stung by a Nettle. He ran home and told his mother, saying:

"Although it pains me so much, I did but touch it ever so gently."

"That
was just it," said his mother, "which caused it to sting you. The next time you touch a Nettle, grasp it boldly, and it will be soft as silk to your hand, and not in the least hurt you."

Whatever you do, do with all your might.
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The Fatal Marriage

The Lion, touched with gratitude by the noble procedure of a Mouse, and resolving not to be outdone in generosity by any wild beast whatsoever, desired his little deliverer to name his own terms, for that he might depend upon his complying with any proposal he should make.

The Mouse,
fired with ambition at this gracious offer, did not so much consider what was proper for him to ask, as what was in the powers of his prince to grant; and so demanded his princely daughter, the young lioness, in marriage.

The Lion consented; but, when he would have given the royal
virgin into his possession, she, like a giddy thing as she was, not minding how she walked, by chance set her paw upon her spouse, who was coming to meet her, and crushed him to pieces.

Beware of unequal matches. Alliances prompted by ambition often prove fatal.
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The Trumpeter taken Prisoner

A Trumpeter, bravely leading on the soldiers, was captured by the enemy. He cried out to his captors:

"Pray spare me, and do not take my life without cause or without injury. I have not slain a single man of your troop. I have no arms, and carry nothing but this one brass trumpet."

"That is the very reason for which you should be put to death," they said, "for while you do not fight yourself, your loud trumpet stirs up all the other soldiers to battle."

He who incites strife is as guilty as they who strive.
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Game-cocks and the Partridge

A Man had two Game-cocks in his poultry yard. One day, by chance, he fell in with a tame Partridge for sale. He purchased it, and brought it home that it might be reared with his Game-cocks. On its being put into the poultry-yard, they struck at it, and followed it about, so that the Partridge was grievously troubled in mind, and supposed that he was thus badly treated because he was a stranger.

Not long afterward he saw the Cocks fighting together, and not separating before one had well beaten the other. He then said to himself: "I shall no longer distress myself at being struck at by these Game-cocks, when I see that they cannot even refrain from quarreling with each other."


Strangers should avoid those who quarrel among themselves.
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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 answered that he was, and that he was descended from one of the noblest families in that city.

The Dolphin then inquired if he knew the Piræus (the famous harbor of Athens). The Monkey, supposing that a man was meant, and being obliged to support his previous lie, answered that he knew him very well, and that he was an intimate friend, who would, no doubt, be very glad to see him. The Dolphin, indignant at these falsehoods, dipped the Monkey under the water, and drowned him.

He who once begins to tell falsehoods is obliged to tell others to make them appear true, and, sooner or later, they will get him into trouble.
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The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse


A Country Mouse invited a Town Mouse, an intimate friend, to pay him a visit, and partake of his country fare. As they were on the bare plough-lands, eating their wheat-stalks and roots pulled up from the hedge-row, the Town Mouse said to his friend:

"You live here the life of
the ants, while in my house is the horn of plenty. I am surrounded with every luxury, and if you will come with me, as I much wish you would, you shall have an ample share of my dainties."

The Country Mouse was
easily persuaded, and returned to town with his friend. On his arrival, the Town Mouse placed before him bread, barley, beans, dried figs, honey, raisins, and, last of all, brought a dainty piece of cheese from a basket. The Country Mouse, being much delighted at the sight of such good cheer, expressed his satisfaction in warm terms, and lamented his own hard fate.

Just as they were beginning to eat, some one opened the
door, and they both ran off squeaking, as fast as they could, to a hole so narrow that two could only find room in it by squeezing. They had scarcely again begun their repast when some one else entered to take something out of a cupboard, on which the two Mice, more frightened than before, ran away and hid themselves.

At last the Country Mouse, almost
famished, thus addressed his friend:

"Although you have prepared for me
so dainty a feast, I must leave you to enjoy it by yourself. It is surrounded by too many dangers to please me."

Better a little in safety, than an abundance surrounded by danger.
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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.
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The Widow and her Little Maidens

A widow woman, fond of cleaning, had two little maidens to wait on her. She was in the habit of waking them early in the morning, at cockcrow. The maidens, being aggrieved by such excessive labor, resolved to kill the cock who roused their mistress so early. When they had done this, they found that they had only prepared for themselves greater troubles, for their mistress, no longer hearing the cock, was unable to tell the time, and so, woke them up to their work in the middle of the night.

Unlawful acts to escape trials only increase our troubles.
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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.

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 afterward 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."
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The Two Pots.

A river carried down in its stream two Pots, one made of earthenware, and the other of brass. As they floated along on the surface of the stream, 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.
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The Cock and the Jewel

A Cock, scratching for food for himself and his hens, found a precious stone; on which he said: "If thy owner had found thee, and not I, he would have taken thee up, and have set thee in thy first estate; but I have found thee for no purpose. I would rather have one barleycorn than all the jewels in the world."
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The Wolf and the Sheep

A Wolf, being sick and maimed, called to a Sheep, who was passing, and asked him to fetch some water from the stream. "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 drought, you would doubtless make me provide the meat also."

Hypocritical speeches are easily seen through.
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The Ass, the Fox, and the Lion

The Ass and the Fox, having entered into a partnership together, went out into the forest to hunt. They had not proceeded far, when they met a Lion. The Fox approached the Lion and promised to contrive for him the capture of the Ass, if he would pledge his word that his own life should be spared.

On his assuring him that he would not injure him, the Fox led the Ass to a deep pit, and contrived that he should fall into it. The Lion, seeing that the Ass was secured, immediately clutched the Fox, and then attacked the Ass at his leisure.


Traitors must expect treachery.
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The Quack Frog

A Frog once made proclamation to all the beasts that he was a learned physician, and able to heal all diseases. A Fox asked him: "How can you pretend to prescribe for others, and you are unable to heal your own lame gait and wrinkled skin?"

Those who pretend that they can mend others should first mend themselves, and then they will be more readily believed.
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The Mischievous Dog

A Dog used to run up quietly to the heels of those he met, and to bite them without notice. His master sometimes suspended a bell about his neck, that he might give notice of his presence wherever he went, and sometimes he fastened a chain about his neck, to which was attached a heavy clog, so that he could not be so quick at biting people's heels.

The Dog grew proud of his bell and clog, and went with them all over the market-place. An old hound said to him: "Why do you make such an exhibition of yourself? That bell and clog that you carry are not, believe me, orders of merit, but, on the contrary, marks of disgrace, a public notice to all men to avoid you as an ill-mannered dog."

Those who achieve notoriety often mistake it for fame.
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Monday, August 4, 2008

The Lion and the Boar.

On a summer day, when the great heat induced a general thirst, 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.

On their stopping on a sudden to take breath for the fiercer renewal of the strife, they saw some Vultures waiting in the distance to feast on the one which 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, as will certainly happen if we are disabled."

Those who strive are often watched by others who will take advantage of their defeat to benefit themselves.
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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."

We are encouraged by seeing others that are worse off than ourselves.
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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 clamor you would raise, if I were to do as you are doing!"

Men are too apt to condemn in others the very things they practice themselves.
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The Dog and the Oyster

A Dog, used to eating eggs, saw an Oyster, and opening his mouth to its widest extent, swallowed it down with the utmost relish, supposing it to be an egg. Soon afterward suffering great pain in his stomach, he said: "I deserve all this torment, for my folly in thinking that everything round must be an egg."

Who acts in haste repents at leisure.
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The Dog, Cock and Fox.

A Dog and a Cock, traveling together, took shelter at night in a thick wood. The Cock perched himself on a high branch, while the Dog found a bed at the foot of the tree. When morning dawned, the Cock, as usual, crowed very loudly. A Fox, hearing the sound, and wishing to make a breakfast on him, came and stood under the branches, saying how earnestly he desired to make the acquaintance of the owner of so sweet a voice.

"If you will admit me," said he, "I should very much like to spend the day with you."

The Cock said: "Sir, do me the favor to go round and wake up my porter, that he may open the door, and let you in." On the Fox approaching the tree, the Dog sprang out and caught him and quickly tore him in pieces.

Those who try to entrap others are often caught by their own schemes.
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The Mouse, the Frog, and the Hawk.

A Mouse, by an unlucky chance, formed an intimate acquaintance with a Frog. The Frog one day, intent on mischief, bound the foot of the Mouse tightly to his own. Thus joined together, the Frog led his friend toward the pool in which he lived, until he reached the very brink, when suddenly jumping in, he dragged the Mouse in with him.

The Frog enjoyed the water amazingly, and swam croaking about as if he had done a meritorious action. The unhappy Mouse was soon suffocated with the water, and his dead body floated about on the surface, tied to the foot of the Frog. A Hawk observed it, and, pouncing upon it, carried it up aloft. The Frog, being still fastened to the leg of the Mouse, was also carried off a prisoner, and was eaten by the Hawk.

Harm hatch, harm catch.
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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 sea as she possibly could, to secure greater safety. She turned her eye towards the land, that she might perceive the approach of a hunter or hound, and her injured eye towards the sea, from which she entertained no anticipation of danger. Some boatmen, sailing by, saw her, and, taking a successful aim, mortally wounded her. Said she: "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."

Danger sometimes comes from a source that is least suspected.
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