ALTEMUS' YOUNG PEOPLE'S LIBRARY
TABLES OD AESOP
THE BEST ACCEPTED SOURCES
WITH SIXTY ILLUSTRATIONS
Copyright x899 by Henry Altemus
MESOP, the fabulist, is supposed to have been born
about the year 620 B. c., but the place of his birth is
uncertain, the honor being claimed by several Gre-
cian cities. He was brought while.young to Athens
as a slave, and having served several masters, was
eventually given his freedom. He thereupon visited
Croesus, King of Lydia, at whose court he is repre-
sented by Plutarch as reproving Solon for his dis-
courteous manner towards the king. He visited
Athens and composed the fable of Jufiter and the
Frogs for the instruction of the citizens. As ambas-
sador of Croesus at Delphi.he was charged with the
payment of a large sum to each of the citizens; but,
in consequence of some dispute, he declined to dis-
tribute the money. The Delphians, incensed at his
conduct, accused him of sacrilege, and threw him
headlong from a precipice, about 564 B. c. A pesti-
lence which ensued being attributed to this crime,
the people declared their willingness to make com-
pensation for his death; which, in default of a nearer
connection, was claimed and received by the grand-
son of his old master.
None of Xsop's works are extant. The popular
stories regarding him are derived from a life of him
prefixed to a book of fables purporting to be his,
collected by a Monk of the 14th century, in which
he is represented as a monster of ugliness and
deformity, a notion utterly without foundation, and
doubtless intended to heighten his wit by the con-
trast. We are told that the Athenians erected a
noble statue in his honor, a circumstance which
alone would be sufficient to confute the absurd fic-
tion of his deformity.
Whether h4sop left any written fables has been
disputed, but it is certain that fables bearing his
name were popular at Athens during the most bril-
liant period of its literary history. This much is cer-
tain, that Socrates delighted in his fables, and that
Plato held them in the highest esteem. Many,
however, of those which pass under his name are of
eastern origin, and undoubtedly many which in
popular collections are ascribed to him are spurious.
Ants and Grasshopper, 12
Apes and Two Travelers, 36
Ass and Charger, 133
Ass and Driver, 93
Ass and Frogs, 90
Ass and Grasshopper, 18
Ass and his Masters, 142
Ass and his Purchaser, 140
Ass and his Shadow, 145
Ass and Horse, 148
Ass and Old Shepherd, 103
Ass and Wolf, 149
Ass Carrying Image, 127
Ass, Cock and Lion, 71
Ass in the Lion's Skin, io8
Bald Man and Fly, 134
Bald Knight, 151
Bat and Weasels, 64
Bear and Fox, 42
Bear in the Wood, 19
Belly and Members, 146
Birds, Beasts and Bat, 87
Bitch and her Whelps, 95
Blind Man and Whelp, 139
Bowman and Lion, 58
Boy and Filberts, 56
Boy Bathing, 82
Boy Hunting Locusts, 12
Boys and Frogs, 20
Brazier and his Dog, 134
Brother and Sister, 156
Buffoon and Countryman, 79
Bull and Calf, 136
Bull and Goat, 65
Camel and Arab, 143
Camel and Jupiter, 126
Cat and Birds, 102
Cat and Cock, o09
Cat and Mice, 137
Cat and Venus, 76
Cobbler turned Doctor, 44
Cock and Gem, 15
Charcoal-burner and Fuller, 118
Crab and Fox, 72
Crab and its Mother, 102
Crow and Mercury, 115
Crow and Pitcher, 85
Crow and Raven, IIi
Crow and Serpent, 126
Crow and Sheep, 146
Doe and Lion, 55
Dog and Hare, 130
Dog and Shadow, II
Dog, Cock and Fox, 23
Dog in Manger, 35
Dogs and Fox, 56
Dogs and Hides, 131
Dog's House, 139
Dog and Thief, 37
Dog that went to Sup, 48
Dolphins,Whales and Sprat, 132
Dove and Crow, 135
Eagle and Arrow, 97
Eagle and Beetle, 8r
Eagle and Captor, 123
Eagle and Fox, 31
Eagle and Jackdaw, 70
Eagle and Kite, 122
Eagle, Cat and Wild Sow, 54
Farmer and his Sons, 56
Farmer and Snake, 40
Farmer and Stork, 52
Father and his Sons, 96
Father and Two Daughters, 91
Fir Tree and Bramble, 30
Fisherman and his Nets, 112
Fisherman Piping, 114
Flea and Ox, 140
Flies and Honey-pot, 38
Fly and the Draught-Mule, 84
Fox and Crane, 95
Fox and Goat, 25
Fox and Grapes, 47
Fox and Hedge-hog, 92
Fox and Leopard, 81
Fox and Lion, 38
Fox and Lion, 73
Fox and Mask, 129
Fox and Monkey, 52
Fox who had lost his Tail-, 41
Frogs Asking for a King, 51
Frogs'complaint againstSun, 124
Game-Cocks and Partridge, 152
Geese and Cranes, 157
Gnat and Bull, 98
Gnat and Lion, 160
Goat and Ass, 104
Goat and Goatherd, 46
Grasshopper and Owl, 99
Hare and Tortoise, 17
Hares and Foxes, 1o8
Hares and Frogs, 29
Hares and Lions, 156
Hart and Vine, 43
Hawk and Nightingale, 150
Hawk, Kite and Pigeons, 13e
Heifer and Ox, 99
Hen and Golden Eggs, 44
Hercules and Wagoner, 86
Horse and Ass, 158
Horse and Groom, IoI
Horse and his Rider, 153
Hunter and Horseman, 82
Jackdaw and Doves, 39
Jackdaw and Fox, ioo
Jupiter, Neptune, Minerva and
Kid and Wolf, 20
Kingdom of the Lion, 28
King's Son and Painted Lion, 75
Kites and Swans, 104
Lamb and Wolf, 160
Lark and her Young Ones, 21
Lark Burying her Father, 92
Lion and Bull, loo
Lion and Dolphin, 115
Lion and Eagle, 158
Libn and Fox, 159
Lion and Mouse, 125
Lion and Shepherd, 124
Lion and Three Bulls, 86
Lion, Bear and Fox, 159
Lion, Fox and Ass, 1o6
Lion in a Farm-yard, 107
Lion, Mouse and Fox, 136
Man and Lion, 32
Man and Satyr, 147
Man, Horse, Ox and Dog, 51
Mercury and Sculptor, iio
Mercury and Workmen, 66
Mice in Council, 59 '
Milk-woman and her Pail, 58
Miller, his Son, and their Ass,
Mole and his Mother, 24
Monkey and Camel, 105
Mother and Wolf, 155
Mountain in Labor, 18
Mouse and Bull, 131
Mouse, Frog and Hawk, 59
Mules and Robbers, 62
Oak and Reed, 69
Oaks and Jupiter, 137
Old Lion, 128
Old Man and Death, 62
Old Woman and Physician, 94
Olive-tree and Fig-tree, 86
One-eyed Doe, 50
Owl and Birds, 45
Ox and Frog, 33
Oxen and Axle-trees, 14
Oxen and Butchers, 13
Panther and Shepherds, 67
Peacock and Crane, 90
Peacock and Juno, 1o3
Peasant and Apple-tree, 119
Philosopher, Ants and Mercury,
Playful Ass, 42
Pomegranate, Apple Tree and
Porker," Sheep and Goat, 60
Rivers and Sea, 119
Rose and Amaranth, 83
Sea-gull and Kite, 113
Seaside Travelers, 128
Seller of Images, 148
Serpent and Eagle, 68
She-goats and their Beards, go
Shepherd and Dog, 138
.Shepherd and Sea, 34
Shepherd and Sheep, 123
Shepherd and Wolf, 22
Shepherd's Boy and Wolf, 26
Shipwrecked Man and Sea, 8o
Sick Kite, 120
Sick Stag, 121
Spendthrift and Swallow, 113
Stag at the Pool, 61
Stag in the Ox's Stall, 49
Stag, Wolf and Sheep, 129
Swallow and Crow, 15
Swallow, Serpent and Court of
Swan and Goose, Io
Thief and his Mother, 98
Thief and Dog, 37
Thief and Innkeeper, 74
Thieves and Cock, 141
Thirsty Pigeon, 16
Three Tradesmen, 122
Town Mouse and Country
Traveler and Fortune, 114
Traveler and his Dog, 16
Travelers and Plane-tree, 83
Trees and Axe, 152
Trees under Protection of Gods,
Truth and Traveler, Ino
Two Bags, 112
Two Frogs, 78
Two Frogs, loI
Two Pots, 22
Two Soldiers and Robber, 63
Two Travelers and Axe, 127
Viper and File, 141'
Wasp and Snake, 30
Wasps, Partridges and Farmer
Weasel and the Mice, io6
Wild Boar and Fox, 120
Wind and Sun, 45
Wolf and Crane, 57
Wolf and Fox, 55
Wolf and House-Dog, 27
Wolf and Lamb, 9
Wolf and Lion, 107
Wolf and Sheep, 117
Wolf and Shepherd, 88
Wolves and Sheep, 94
Wolves and Sheep-dogs, 87
Woman and her Hen, 24
THE WOLF AND THE LAMB.
ONE hot day a wolf came to quench his thirst at a
clear brook that ran down the side of a hill. By
chance a young lamb stood there. The wolf had a
wish to eat her, but felt some qualms; so for a plea
he made out that the lafib was his foe. Stand off
from the banks, sir," said he, "for as you tread
them you stir mud in the stream, and all I can get
to drink is thick and foul." The young lamb said,
in a mild tone, that she did not see how that could
be the case, as the brook ran down hill to her from
the spot where he stood. "But," said the wolf,
"how dare you drink of it at all, till I have had my
fill ?" Then the poor lamb told him that as yet her
dam's milk was both food and drink to her. "Be
that as it may," said the wolf, you are a bad lamb;
for last year I heard that you spoke ill of me and
all my race." "Last year! dread sir," quoth the
lamb, "why, I have not yet been shorn, and at the
time you name I was not born." The wolf, who
found it was of no use to tell lies, fell in a great rage,
and as he come up to the lamb, he said, "All you
sheep have the same dull kind of face, and how is
one to know which is which? If it was not you, it
was your dam, and that's all the same thing, so I
shall not let you go from here." He then flew at
the poor meek lamb, and made a meal of her.
Any excuse will serve a tyrant, or as some say:
Might makes Right.
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 DOG AND THE SHADOW.
A DOG ran along the road with a large piece of
meat in his mouth. At last he came to a bridge;
and as he paused near one side to take a peep at the
brook, he saw his shadow, and took it for a live
dog. "Hal" said he, "that dog has a piece of
meat twice as large as mine, and I must have it!"
But as he snatched at the meat he saw in the stream,
he dropped that which he held in his own mouth,
and it sank out of reach. He thus lost both; that
which he thought he saw in the brook, and his own;
which the stream swept far out of sight.
THE BOY HUNTING LOCUSTS.
A BoY was hunting for locusts. He had caught a
goodly number, when he saw a scorpion, and, mis-
taking him for a locust, reached out his hand to
take him. The scorpion, showing his sting, said:
" If you had but touched me, my friend, you would
have lost me, and all your locusts too!"
THE ANTS AND THE GRASSHOPPER.
THE ants were employing a fine winter's day in
drying grain collected in the summer time. A grass-
hopper, perishing with famine, passed by and
earnestly begged for a little food. The ants inquired
of him, Why did you not treasure up food during
the summer?" He replied, "I had not leisure
enough. I passed the days in singing." They then
said in derision: "If you were foolish enough to
sing all the summer, you must dance supperless to
bed in the winter."
THE POMEGRANATE, APPLE TREE, AND
THE pomegranate and apple tree disputed as to
which was the most beautiful. When their strife
was at its height, a bramble from a neighboring
hedge lifted up its voice, and said in a boastful tone:
"Pray, my dear friends, in my presence at least
cease from such vain disputings."
THE OXEN AND THE BUTCHERS.
THE butchers, by their trade, were foes to the
whole race of oxen; most of whom at last made up
their minds to kill these men who did them so much
harm. They met one day and talked, while they
made their horns sharp for the fray. One of them,
an old bull, large and strong, who had plowed up
great fields with his horns, thus spoke : "These
butchers kill us, it is true; but they do it with
hands well skilled in their craft, and cause but
small pain. If we get rid of them, we shall fall into
the hands of men who know not how to kill, and
thus we shall have to bear both pain and death; for
you may be sure, that though all the butchers die,
yet will men not want for beef."
A MISER sold all that he had, and bought a lump
of gold, which he took and buried in a hole dug in
the ground by the side of an old wall, and went
daily to look at it. One of his workmen, observing
his frequent visits to the spot, watched his move-
ments, discovered the secret of the hidden treasure,
and digging down, came to the lump of gold, and
stole it. The miser, on his next visit, found the
hole empty, and began to tear his hair, and to make
loud lamentations. A neighbor, seeing him over-
come with grief, and learning the cause, said, Pray
do not grieve so; but go and take a stone, and place
it in the hole, and fancy that the gold is still lying
there. It will do you quite the same service; for
when the gold was there, you had it not, as you did
not make the slightest use of it."
THE OXEN AND THE AXLE-TREES.
A HEAVY wagon was being dragged along a coun.
try lane by a team of oxen. The axle-trees groaned
and creaked terribly ; when the oxen, turning round,
thus addressed the wheels: "Hullo there! why
do you make so much noise? We bear all the
labor, and we, not you, ought to cry out."
Those who suffer most cry out the least.
THE COCK AND THE GEM.
A COCK came down from his roost at break of day,
and set up a loud, shrill crow; he then went to work
to scratch the ground in search of food for the hens.
By and by, what should he turn up but a bright
gem. He gave it a kick and said, Ha! you are a
fine thing, no doubt; but, to my mind, one good
grain of wheat is worth all the gems in the world."
Do not cast pearls to swine.
THE SWALLOW AND THE CROW.
THE swallow and the crow had a contention about
~~ 'tl~S~PLc4-'Y~, -
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.
THE THIRSTY PIGEON.
A PIGEON, oppressed by excessive thirst, saw a
goblet of water painted on a sign-board. Not sup-
posing it to be only a picture, she flew towards it
with a loud whirr, and unwittingly dashed against
the sign-board and jarred herself terribly. Having
broken her wings by the blow, she fell to the ground,
and was caught by one of the bystanders.
Zeal should not outrun discretion.
THE TRAVELLER AND HIS DOG.
A TRAVELLER, about to set out on his journey,
saw his dog stand at the door stretching himself.
He asked him sharply: What do you stand gaping
there for? Everything is ready but you; so come
with me instantly." The dog, wagging his tail,
replied: 0, master! I am quite ready; it is you for
whom I am waiting."
The loiterer often imputes delay to his more ac-
THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE.
THE hare one day made great fun of the short
legs and slow pace of the tortoise, who said,
"Though you be swift as the wind, I will beat you
in the race." The hare knew, of course, that she
could not do this; but since she made so great a
boast, told her with much scorn that she might try
it if she liked. Then they called a fox who chanced
to be near, and asked him to choose the course and
fix the goal. On the next day the race came off.
The tortoise did not stop, but went with a slow pace
straight to the end of the course; while the hare
ran fast for a time, and then lay down by the way to
wait for his companion to come in sight. It was a
nice cool spot where he lay, and ere he knew it he
went to sleep. How long he slept he did not know;
but when he woke, he saw by the sun that the day
was well-nigh spent, and no tortoise was in sight.
" Could she have passed me while I slept? thought
the hare, as he jumped up from his bed, and ran
with all his might to the goal. There, to his grief,
he found that the tortoise, whom he had made fun
of as "slow," had won the race .
THE ASS AND THE GRASSHOPPER.
AN ass having heard some grasshoppers chirping,
was highly enchanted; and, desiring to possess the
same charms of melody, demanded what sort of food
they lived on, to give them such beautiful voices.
They replied, "The dew." The ass resolved that
he would only live upon dew, and in a short time
died of hunger.
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.
.,ESOP'S FABLES. 19
THE BEAR IN THE
S Two men had to pass
through a thick wood,
and one of them said,
Should we fall in with wild
beasts, I will come to your help,
if you will do the same by me."
"So be it," said his friend, and off
they set. They had not gone far
when a bear made a rush out of the
wood. The man who had made the
good rule for them to act on, got up a
tree to hide, and his poor friend was
put to his -wit's end to save his life,
so he fell flat on the ground, held his
breath, and lay quite still, that the
bear might think he was dead. The
huge beast came close up to him, and felt him with
his snout, but as he took him for a dead man, did
him no harm. When the bear was gone, and all
was safe, the man came down from the tree, and
with a smile, said, "What did the bear tell you
when he put his "snout so close up to your ear?"
"Well," said his friend, "what he told me was this
-' Have a care of that rogue up the tree, and for.the
time to come put no trust in him!' "
Prove thy friend ere thou have need of him.
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
THE KID AND THE WOLF.
A KID standing on the roof of a house, out of
harm's way, saw a wolf passing by: and immediately
began to taunt and revile him. The wolf, looking
up, said: Sirrah! I hear thee: yet it is not thou
who mockest me, but the roof on which thou art
Time and place often give the advantage to the
weak over the strong.
THE LARK AND HER YOUNG ONES.
A LARK had a nest of young birds in a field of
corn, and one day two men came to look at the state
of the crop. "Well," says one of them to his son,
"I think this wheat is ripe, so now go and ask our
friends to help us reap it." When the old lark came
back to her nest, the young brood told her, in a
great fright, what they had heard. "So they look
to their friends," said she; "well, I think we have
no cause to fear." The next day the man of the
farm came, and saw no friends in the corn field, so
he bade his son fetch his kith and kin to help him.
This the young birds heard, and told the old one
when she came home to her nest. -)uoth she, "I
do not see that men go much out of their way to
help those that are of the same kith and kin." In
the course of a day or two, as the man found that no
one came, he said to his son, Hark you, John ; we
will trust to none, but you and I will reap the corn
at dawn of day." Now," said the old lark, we
must be gone ; for when a man takes his work in his
own hands, it is sure to be done."
No eye so good as one's own ; no work so well
done; self-help is the best help.
THE TWO POTS.
A RIVER carried down in its stream two pots, one
made of earthenware, and the other of brass. The
earthen pot said to the brass pot, Pray keep at a
distance, and do not come near me : for if you touch
me ever so slightly, I shall be broken in pieces; and
besides, I by no means wish to come near you."
Equals make the best friends.
THE SHEPHERD AND THE WOLF.
A SHEPHERD once found the whelp of a wolf,
and brought it up, and after a while taught it to
steal lambs from the neighboring flocks. The wolf,
having shown himself an apt pupil, said to the
shepherd, "Since you have taught me to steal, you
must keep a sharp look-out, or you will lose some
of your own flock."'
THE DOG, THE COCK, AND
A DOG once asked his friend, the
cock, to take a long trip with him.
When night came, they had to sleep in
a thick wood. The cock flew up and
perched on a branch, while the dog
found a bed near the ground, in a hole
in the trunk of the same tree. At
dawn the cock roused up and crowed.
A fox near by heard the sound, and as
he had not yet dined, at once thought
that here was a chance to get a fine
meal; so he walked up to the tree
where the friends were, and asked the
cock to fly down, that he might tell him how much
pleased he had been with the grand voice he had
just heard, and how glad he would be to make friends
with the one who owned it. The cock saw at once
why the fox wished so much to know him, and thus
spoke: "Sir, I wish you would please go round to
the hole in the trunk of this tree, and wake up my
friend, that he may let you in." As the fox came to
the place, the dog sprang out and caught him, and
tore him to bits.
THE MOLE AND HIS MOTHER.
A MOLE, a creature blind from its birth, once said
to his mother : "I am sure that I can see, mother '
In the desire to prove to him his mistake, his mother
placed before him a few grains of frankincense, and
asked, What is it? The young mole said, It
is a pebble." His mother exclaimed : "My son, I
am afraid that you are not only blind, but that you
have lost your sense of smell."
THE 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
Covetousness overreacheth itself.
~-- -~- 3-
THE FOX AND THE GOAT.
ONCE upon a time a fox fell down a deep well, and
could not get out. A goat came to the same well to
drink; and as he saw the fox asked if it was sweet
and clear. Here was the help which the fox had
long wished, so he hid his own sad plight and urged
the goat to come down and try it. His thirst was so
great, that at this he jumped down, and drank his
fill. When it was quenched he first learned how
hard it would be for him to get out; "but," said the
fox, "I think I see a plan by which we may both
reach the top. If," said he, "you will place your
fore-feet on the wall, and bend your head, I will run
up your back and thus get out; then I will help you
to do the same." So the goat did as the fox wished
and the sly beast soon made his way out; but when
he got to the edge he leaped to the ground and ran
off as fast as he could to the woods. As the goat
called to him, he turned and said: "If you had as
many brains in your head as you have hairs in your
beard you would not have gone down in the well,
till you saw the way out."
Look before you leap.
THE SHEPHERD-BOY AND WOLF.
A SHEPHERD-BOY, who watched a flock of sheep
near a village, brought out the villagers three or four
times by crying out, "Wolf! Wolf !" and when his
neighbors came to help him, laughed at them for
their pains. The wolf, however, did truly come at
last. The shepherd-boy, now really alarmed, shouted
in an agony of terror: "Pray, do come and help me;
the wolf is killing the sheep ;" but no one paid any
heed to his cries, nor rendered any assistance. The
wolf, having no cause of fear, took it easily, and
lacerated or destroyed the whole flock.
There is no believing a liar, even when he speaks
THE WOLF AND THE HOUSE DOG.
A POOR lean wolf, that was but skin and bone, fell
in with a plump house dog, and said, How comes
it, my friend, that you look so fat and sleek, while I
who am in the woods night and day in search of
food, do but starve at the best?" "Well," said the
dog, "you may be as well off as I am, if you will
do the same for it. I have but to guard the house
from thieves; so come home with me and see how
you like the life." "With all my heart 1" cries
As they went down the road side by side, the wolf
saw a mark on the dog's neck, and would know
what it was. So they had a talk.
Dog.-Well, it may be a slight mark from the
Wolf.-Chain? Do you mean to say that you may
not roam when and where you please?
Dog.-Why, not quite. For, you see, they do
look on me as the least in the world fierce, so they
tie me up by day, but I am let loose at night. And
all in the house pet me, and feed me with scraps
from their own plates, and- Come on. What
Wolf.-Oh, good night to you. I wish you joy
of your fine life; but, for my part, though I may
not be fat, I will at least be free.
No one loves chains, though they be made of gold.
THE KINGDOM OF THE LION.
THE beasts of the field and forest had a lion as
their king. He was neither wrathful, cruel, nor ty-
rannical, but just and gentle as a king could be. He
made during his reign a royal proclamation for a
general assembly of all the birds and beasts, and
drew up conditions for an universal league, in which
the wolf and the lamb, the panther and the kid,
the tiger and the stag, the dog and the hare, should
live together in perfect peace and amity. The hare
said, "Oh, how I have longed to see this day, in
which the weak shall take their place with impunity
by the side of the strong."
AESOP'S FABLES. 29
THE HARES AND THE FROGS.
THE hares, who lived in a pack, were at one time
put in such a fright by a great storm of wind that
blew through the grass and trees, that they made up
their minds to die. So they sought out some spot
where they might end their days by force. They
ran through the fence and down the long hill, but
were stopped in their mad flight by a small brook
which flowed past in front of them. When they saw
this, they cried, one and all, "We will jump in the
brook and drown!" But when they came to the
brink, the tribe of frogs which sat near by in the
damp weeds, rushed in great fear to the edge, and
jumped far out in the stream. When one old "puss"
saw this, she called to the rest, and said, "Hold!
have a care what you do; here are the frogs, which,
I see, have their fears as well as we; do not let us
think that we have more ills than our share, but let
us live, and learn to bear them as we should."
If we care to look, we shall find out that we are no
worse off than most of our friends.
THE FIR TREE AND THE BRAMBLE.
A FIR TREE said boastingly to the bramble, You
are useful for nothing at all; while I am everywhere
used for roofs and houses." The bramble made
answer: "You poor creature, if you would only call
to mind the axes and saws which are about to hew
you down, you would have reason to wish that you
had grown up a bramble, not a fir tree."
Better poverty without care, than riches with.
THE 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."
S~THE EAGLE AND THE
AN eagle and a fox were
Firm friends and lived in the
S same woods. The eagle
built her nest in the crotch
S. of a tall tree, while the fox
lived in the low shrubs near
by and there had heryoung.
For a time all went well;
then, as the fox was out in
,( search of food for her young,
the eagle flew down and
32 ESOP'S FABLES.
caught one of the young cubs, as food for her own
brood. When the fox came back, she felt very sore,
not so much at the loss of her young, it is true, as
at the poor chance she had to pay the eagle for her
bad faith. A time did come at last for which the
fox had long watched. The eagle one day in search
of food, saw a goat which some men had just placed
on a fire; as they left it to get more wood, she
caught a piece of the flesh, and took it to her nest.
With the meat she took a bit of the fire, and a strong
wind soon fanned the spark to a flame. The young
eagles did not yet know how to fly, so were burnt in
their nest and fell one by one to the ground, where
the fox in great glee ate them up in sight of the
THE MAN AND THE LION.
A MAN and a lion travelled 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 traveller pointed to it and said: "See
there! How strong we are, and how we prevail over
even the king of beasts." The lion replied: This
statue was made by one of you men. If we lions
knew how to erect statues, you would see the man
placed under the paw of the lion."
One story is good, till another is told.
THE OX AND THE FROG.
AN ox, as he drank at a pool, trod on a brood of
young frogs, and crushed one of them to death. The
mother, as she came up, missed one of her sons, and
asked where he had gone. "He is dead, dear
mother; for just now a huge beast with four great
feet came to the pond, and crushed him to death
with his heel." Then the frog puffed out as large
as she could, and asked if the size of the beast was so
great as that. "Cease, mother, to puff out," said
her son, and try no more; for you would burst ere
you could swell half as large as that beast."
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 after-
wards, 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 there-
fore looks quiet."
SOME fishermen were out trawling their nets.
Perceiving them to be very heavy, they danced
about for joy, and supposed that they had taken a
large draught of fish. When they had dragged the
nets to the shore they found but few fish, and that
the nets were full of sand and stones, and they were
beyond measure cast down-not so much at the dis-
appointment which had befallen them, as because
they had formed such very different expectations.
One of their company, an old man, said, "Let us
cease lamenting, my mates, for, as it seems to me,
sorrow is always the twin sister of joy; and it was
only to be looked for that we, who just now were
over-rejoiced, should next have something to make
zASOP'S FABLES. 35
THE DOG IN THE STALL.
A DOG one day lay down to sleep in the fresh,
sweet hay placed in the stall for the kine, and would
not move when an ox came for his food. The
ox in vain tried to get at the hay, but the cur
growled and snapped at him, and would not let
him taste it. "A curse rest on thee, thou mean
cur!" said the ox in wrath; "thou canst not eat
hay, yet wilt thou not let those eat it who can "
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, 0 stranger?" 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 cus-
tom, 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 DOG AND THE THIEF.
ONE dark night a thief came to a man's house to
rob it, and when the dog heard him he gave a loud
bark. At this the man sprang from his bed to look
out, but saw no one, nor did he hear the least sound,
so he bade the dog be still, and then went back to
sleep. The thief in the mean time had hid in the
shed in a state of great fear; but when he found that
the dog was bound by a chain, and did not now
bark, he crept to the door of the house, and took
out his bunch of false keys to try the lock. The
dog saw him, and set up his loud bark; so the man
of the house put his head out once more to look
round him, but as he saw no one, and found that all
was now quite still; in a great rage he cries out,
" Down, you brute! Down, I tell you! you will not
let me have a wink of sleep!" So the dog left off,
and in the mean time the thief made his way to the
house, and took all that he could find. The next
day, when the man saw what had been done, he
said, "This will teach me to give ear to the voice of
a warm and true friend when he warns me."
THE FLIES AND THE HONEY-POT.
A JAR of honey having been upset in a house-
keeper's room, a number of flies were attracted by its
sweetness, and placing their feet in it, ate it greedily.
Their feet however became so smeared with the
honey that they could not use their wings, not
release themselves, and were suffocated. Just as
they were expiring, they exclaimed, "0 foolish
creatures that we are, for the sake of a little pleasure
we have destroyed ourselves."
Pleasure bought with pains, hurts.
THE FOX AND THE LION.
A Fox saw a lion confined in a cage, and, stand-
ing near him, bitterly reviled him. The lion said
to the fox, It is not thou who revilest me; but this
mischance which has befallen me."
THE DAW AND THE JAY.
ONCE on a time there was a daw, who was so vain,
that he must needs leave his old friends (the jacks),
and go quite out of his sphere to pass for a jay. So
he stuck the bright plumes that fell from those gay
birds on his own back, that he might look like
them. But they soon found him out, took off his
plumes, fell on him with their sharp bills, and made
him smart for his pride. Full of shame, he hung
down his head, and once more went to flock with
those of his own tribe, but they knew his vain ways
too well, and told him they did not now choose to own
him; and one of them said, If you had been true
to your own friends, you would .not have had such
hard cuts from those you have just left, nor would
you have had to bear the slights which we now feel
we must put on you."
,-=at&' L* r B'
THE FARMER AND THE SNAKE.
A FARMER found in the winter time a snake stiff
and frozen with cold. He had compassion on it,
and taking it up placed it in his bosom. 'The snake
on being thawed by thb warmth quickly revived,
when, resuming its natural instincts, he bit his
benefactor, inflicting on him a mortal wound. The
farmer said with his latest breath, "I am rightly
served for pitying a scoundrel! "
The greatest benefits will not bind the ungrateful.
THE FOX WHO LOST HIS TAIL.
A Fox who went to steal some young chicks was
caught in a trap, from which he got free, but with
the loss of his tail; and when he came to mix with
the world, he saw how high a price he had paid for
it, for none of the beasts who stole a look at him
could hide a laugh, and the fox thought it would
have been well for him if his life had gone with the
"brush." But, to make the best of things, he sent
to all the rest of his race to beg of them to meet him
on a heath, and there the fox held forth and said, "I
would have you all cut off your tails. You know not
the ease with which I can now move. Of what use
is the tail to us? If we creep through a hole in the
hedge, as we fly from the hounds, it stops us in the
way. It is the 'brush,' you know, that man strives
for in the hunt; and then, too, in spite of all we can
do, it is apt to be caught in the trap." A sly old
fox who heard him, said, with a leer, "It strikes me
that you would not so much care to see us part with
our tails, if you had a chance to get your own back !"
Bought wit is the best.
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
THE BEAR AND THE FOX.
A BEAR boasted very much of his philanthropy,
saying "that of all the animals he was the most
tender in his regard for man, for he had such respect
for him, that he would not even touch his dead body."
A fox hearing these words said with a smile to the
bear, Oh that you would eat the dead and not the
THE HART AND THE VINE.
SOME men sought out a hart for the chase, when one
made a rush out of the wood, and hid from them in
the shade of a thick vine, so that they quite lost sight
of him. It was the best hide and seek that could be,
,o thought the stag, but he hid not for the sport, but
tor dear life. There he lay, still as a mouse. In a
short time he took heart to browse on the leaves of
the vine, which hung so green and fresh just at his
nose. He saw no harm in one more crop, and then
one more, till he quite lost sight of what he had
come there for. More than this, he so shook the
tree when he took a bite, that he drew the eyes of
the men to the spot, and as the vine was now too
thin of leaves to hide him, they shot at him, and he
fell down dead.
Where the hedge is thin, men will see through it,
44 E44SOP'S FABLES.
THE COBBLER TURNED DOCTOR.
A COBBLER unable to make a living by his trade,
rendered desperate by poverty, began to practise
medicine in a town in which he was not known.
He sold a drug, pretending that it was an antidote to
all poisons, and obtained a great name for himself by
long-winded puffs and advertisements. He happened
to fall sick himself of a serious illness, on which the
governor of the town determined to test his skill.
For this purpose he called for a cup, and while filling
it with water, pretended to mix poison with the
cobbler's antidote, and commanded him to drink it,
on the promise of a reward. The cobbler, under
the fear of death, confessed that he had no knowl-
edge of medicine, and was only made famous by the
stupid clamors of the crowd. The governor called
a public assembly, and thus addressed the citizens:
" Of what folly have you been guilty ? You have
not hesitated to entrust your heads to a man, whom
no one could employ to make even the shoes for
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 sur-
prise 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 WIND AND THE SUN.
THE wind and the sun
once came to high words
as to which had the most
strength. Just then by
chance a man came by, so
they let the point rest on
this, that he who got the
man's cloak off first, should
win the day. The wind
was the first to try, and he
blew with all his might
and main a fierce blast;
but the man' wrapt his
cloak all the more close
round him. Next came the sun,
who broke out with his warm
beams, and cast his rays on the
man, till at last he grew faint
with the heat, and was glad to
part with his cloak, which he
flung to the ground.
Kind means are the best.
THE OWL AND THE BIRDS.
AN owl, in her wisdom, coun-
selled the birds, when the acorn
first began to sprout, to pull it up
by all means out of the ground, and not to allow it
to grow, because it would produce the mistletoe,
from which- an irremediable poison, the bird-lime,
would be extracted, by which they would be cap-
tured. The owl next advised them to pluck up the
seed of the flax, which men had sown, as it was a
plant which boded no good to them. And, lastly,
the owl, seeing an archer approach, predicted that
this man, being on foot, would contrive darts armed
with feathers, which should fly faster than the wings
of the birds themselves. The birds gave no credence
to these warning words, but considered the owl to
be beside herself, and said that she was mad. But
afterwards, finding her words were true, they won-
dered at her knowledge, and deemed her to be the
wisest of birds. Hence it is that when she appears
they resort to:her as knowing all things; while she
no longer gives them advice, but in solitude laments
their past folly.
THE GOAT AND THE GOATHERD.
A GOATHERD had sought to bring back a stray
goat to his flock. He whistled and sounded his horn
in vain; the straggler paid no attention to the sum-
mons. At last the goatherd threw a stone, and
breaking its horn, besought the goat not to tell his
master. The goat replied, "Why, you silly fellow,
the horn will speak though I be silent."
Do not attempt to hide things which cannot be
THE FOX AND THE
ONm hot day a fox saw some
grapes which hung on a wall,
and he took a spring to seize
them, but made too short a
bound; so then he leapt with all
his might, but could not quite
reach them; and each jump he
took was still too short. There
hung the fine ripe grapes, but
not for him. Then, as he found
he could not get at them, he said,
*. --P ~~1~4~ii
"It is not worth my while to try, for the grapes are
sour and not as ripe as I thought they were."
They who can not as they will, must will as they
THE DOG WHO WENT OUT TO SUP.
A MAN made a great feast, and his dog Tray said
to Gyp, who was a great friend of his, Come and
sup with us to-night. Eight o'clock is the time;
but if you are there an hour too soon, you will find
there is much to be done." Gyp lay in the sun a
while, to wink and wait. He thought of fish, flesh
and fowl, tripe and toast, and made a feast in his
heart that might grace a bill of fare for a king. At
length the time came, and he set off to the cook's
room, where he found all hands hard at work. Gyp
went with a skulk, now here, now there; gave a
peep at this dish, and smelt at that, and with a wag
of his tail, as much as to say, 0 rare! What a feast
have I in store! This wag of the tail brought the
eyes of the cook on him, and he said, How now?
what's this I spy? A cur! who let him in? A nice
sort of guest, to be sure. I shall soon pack you
off." The cook then brought poor Gyp to view,
and threw him out at the back door.
He fell with force upon the ground and limped
away with a wild howl. When the other curs
asked how he enjoyed the feast, he said: "To tell
the truth, I drank so much wine that I do not know
how I got out of the house."
There's oft a slip twixtt cup and lip.
THE STAG IN THE OX'S STALL.
A PACK of hounds drove a poor stag out of a
wood, and in a great fright he made off to a farm
that was near, and hid in a heap of straw in an ox's
stall. "What can have brought you to such a place
as this, where you are sure to meet with your doom ? "
said the ox. Oh," cries the stag, "'if you will but
help to hide me for awhile, I shall do well, and by and
by I will move off." It grew dusk, and the men on
the farm came in and out, but-did not see the stag,
so he now thought it time to leave. "Nay," quoth
the ox, "wait awhile; there is the man who owns
50 AESOP'S FABLES.
the farm to come yet, and should he pass this way,
I would not give the straw you hide in for your
life." While the ox spoke, the man came up and
cast his eyes on the stag, and made a prize of him.
"That is a bad game," said he, "where none
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 pre-
caution against the land, and after all to find this
sea-shore, to which I had come for safety, so much
THE FARMER AND HIS SONS.
A FARMER being on the point of death wished to
ensure from his sons the same attention to his farm
as he had himself given it. He called them to his
bedside, and said, My sons, there is a great treasure
hid in one of my vineyards." The sons.after his
. SOP'S FABLES.
death took their spades and mattocks, and carefully
dug over every portion of their land. They found
no treasure, but the vines repaid their labor by an
extraordinary and superabundant crop.
THE MAN, THE HORSE, THE OX, AND
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 to his oats, gave the
ox abundance of hay, and fed the dog with meat
from his own table. Grateful for these favors, 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 characterized him-
self. 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
labor, 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, irri-
table, 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
THE FARMER AND THE STORK.
A FARMER placed 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.
THE FOX AND THE MONKEY.
A Fox and a monkey were traveling together on
the same road. As they journeyed, they passed
through a cemetery full of monuments. "'All these
monuments which you see," said the monkey, "are
erected in honor of my ancestors, who were in their
day 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 FROGS AND THEIR KING.
IN the days of yore the frogs met to beg of Jove to
send them a king. So he threw them a log, and said,
"There's a king for you-a good, mild one!" Well,
King Log came on the pond with such a splash, that
the frogs took fright at him. Some sought the mud,
and some the reeds; and, for a long time, there was
not one that would dare to take a peep. By and by,
when they saw that King Log lay quite still, they
said, "See, he sleeps!" Some came round him,
and up to him, till, one by one, they leapt on his
back, and at last held him quite in scorn. So, with
harsh croaks, they beg of Jove to change him for one
with more life; in short, a king that would move.
Jove then sent them an eel, and he, too, was too
tame for them; and, a third time, they ask of Jove
to choose for them a king with more strength of will.
This time he sent them a stork, who, day by day,
made the frogs his prey, till there were none left to
croak on the lake save one, and he shook his head
and said, "If -we had had the sense to keep well,
there would have been no need to mend our state:
we have found to our loss what we did not seek. "
Set not the fox to keep the geese.
THE EAGLE, THE CAT, AND THE WILD
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 DOE AND THE LION.
A DOE hard pressed by hunters entered a cave
for shelter which belonged to a lion. The lion con-
cealed 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
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 enor-
mous size, thought that they gave him this name in
earnest, and, leaving his own race, consorted exclu-
sively 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."
THE BOY AND THE FILBERTS.
A BOY put his hand into a pitcher full of filberts.
He grasped as many as he could possibly hold, but
when he endeavored to pull out his hand, he was
prevented from doing so by the neck of the pitcher.
Unwilling to lose his filberts, and yet unable to
withdraw his hand, he burst into tears, and bitterly
lamented his disappointment A bystander said to
him, "Be satisfied with half the quantity, and you
will readily draw out your hand."
Do not attempt too much at once.
THE 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
It is easy to kick a man that is down.
THE WOIF AND THE CRANE.
A WOLF had a bone that stuck in his throat, and
gave him so much pain that he ran with a howl, up
and down, to ask all whom he met to lend him a kind
hand, and said he would give a large sum to bird or
beast who would take it out. At last a crane, who
heard of the bribe, came up, put her long bill down
the wolPs throat, and drew out the bone. The
crane then said, Now, where is the fee that you
spoke of?" "Wretch that you are!" said the
wolf, to ask for more than this-that you should
put your head in a wolf's mouth, and bring it safe
A bribe walks in, and gives no knock.
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 pleas-
THE MIILK-WOMAN AND HER PAIL.
A FARMER'S daughter was carrying her pail of milk
from the field 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 hun-
dred 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 favor
was the proposal to tie a bell to the neck of the cat,
that the mice being warned by the sound of the tink-.
ling 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 MOUSE, THE FROG, AND THE HAWK.
A MOUSE who always lived on the land, by an un-
lucky chance formed an intimate acquaintance with
a frog, who lived for the most part in the water.
The frog, one day, intent on mischief, bound the
foot of the mouse tightly to his own. Thus joined
together, the frog first of all led his friend the mouse
to the meadow where they were accustomed to find
their food. After this, he gradually led him towards
the pool in which he lived, until 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 with his talons, 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.
THE PORKER, THE SHEEP, AND THE
A YOUNG pig was shut up in a fold-yard with a
goat and a sheep. On one occasion the shepherd
laid hold of him, when he grunted, and squeaked,
and resisted violently.' The sheep and the goat
complained of his distressing cries, and said, "He
often handles us, and we do not cry out." To this
he replied, "Your handling and mine are very dif-
ferent things. He catches you only for your wool,
or your milk, but he lays hold on me for my very
THE STAG AT THE POOL.
A STAG one summer's day came
to a pool to quench his thirst, and
as he stood drinking he saw his
form reflected in the water. What
beauty and strength," said he,
"are in these horns of mine; but
how unseemly are these weak and
slender feet! While he was thus
criticising, after his own fancies,
62 .ESOP'S FABLES.
the form which Nature had given him, the huntsmen
and hounds drew that way. The feet, with which
he had found so much fault, soon carried him out of
the reach of his pursuers; but the horns, of which
he was so vain, becoming entangled in a thicket,
held him till the hunters again came up to him, and
proved the cause of his death.
Look to use before ornament.
THE OLD MAN AND DEATH.
AN old man was employed in cutting wood in the
forest, and, in carrying the faggots 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."
THE MULES AND THE ROBBERS.
Two mules well laden with packs were trudging
along. One carried panniers filled with money, the
other sacks weighted with grain. The mule carry-
ing the treasure walked with head erect, as if con-
scious of the value of his burden, and tossed up and
down the clear-toned bells fastened to his neck. His
companion followed with quiet and easy step. All
on a sudden robbers rushed from their hiding-places
upon them, and in the scuffle with their owners,
wounded with asword the mule carrying the treasure,
which they greedily siezed upon, while they took no
notice of the grain. The mule which had been
robbed and wounded, bewailed his misfortunes.
The other replied, "I am indeed glad that I was
thought so little of, for I have lost nothing, nor am
I hurt with any wound."
THE 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, fof
I should have been the more encouraged, believing
them to be true; but now put up your sword in its
sheath and hold your equally useless tongue, till you
can deceive others who do not know you. I, indeed,
who have experienced with what speed you run
away, know right well that no dependence can be
placed on your valor."
THE TREES UNDER THE PROTECTION OF
THE Gods, according to an ancient legend, made
choice of certain trees to be under their special pro-
tection. Jupiter chose the oak, Venus the myrtle,
Apollo the laurel, Cybele the pine, and Hercules the
poplar. Minerva, wondering why they had preferred
trees not yielding fruit, inquired the reason of their
choice. Jupiter replied, "It is lest we should seem
to covet the honor for the fruit." But said Minerva,
" Let any one say what he will, the olive is more
dear to me on account of its fruit." Then said
Jupiter, "My daughter, you are rightly called wise;
for unless what we do is useful, the glory of it is
THE BAT AND THE WEASELS.
A BAT falling upon the ground was caught by a
weasel, of whom he earnestly sought his life. The
weasel refused, saying that he was by nature the
enemy of all birds. The bat assured him that he
was not a bird, but a mouse, and thus saved his life.
Shortly afterwards the bat again fell on the ground,
and was caught by another weasel, whom he likewise
entreated not to eat him. The weasel said that he
had a special hostility to mice. The bat assured
him that he was not a mouse, but a bat; and thus a
second time escaped.
It is wise to turn circumstances to good account.
THE BULL AND THE GOAT.
A BULL being pursued by a lion, fled into a cave
where a wild goat had taken up his abode. The
goat upon this began molesting him and butting at
him with his horns. "Don't suppose," said the
bull, "if I suffer this now, that it is you I am afraid
of. Let the lion be once out of sight, and I will
soon show you the difference between a bull and a
Mean people take advantage of their neighbors'
difficulties to annoy them; but the time will come
when they will repent them of their insolence.
MERCURY AND THE WORKMEN.
A WORKMAN, felling wood by the side of a river,
let his axe drop by accident into a deep pool. Being
thus deprived of the means of his livelihood, he sat
down on the bank, and lamented his hard fate. Mer-
cury appeared, and demanded the cause of-his tears.
He told him his misfortune, when Mercury plunged
into the stream, and, bringing up a golden axe, in-
quired if that were the one he had lost. On his
saying that it was not his, Mercury disappeared be-
neath the water a second time, and returned with a
silver axe in. his hand, and again demanded of the
workman "if it were his." On the.workman saying
it was not, he dived into the pool for the third time,
and brought up the axe that had been lost. On the
workman claiming it, and expressing his joy at its
recovery, Mercury, pleased with his honesty, gave
him the golden and the silver axes in addition to his
The workman, on his return to his house, related
to his companions' all that had happened. One of
them at once resolved to try whether he could not also
secure the same good fortune to himself. He ran to
the river, and threw his axe on purpose into the pool
at the same place, and sat down on the bank to
weep. Mercury appeared to him just as he hoped
he would; and having learned the cause of his grief,
plunged into the stream, and brought up a golden
axe, and inquired if he had lost it. The workman
seized it greedily, and declared that of a truth it was
the very same axe that he had lost. Mercury, dis-
pleased at his knavery, not only took away the
golden axe, but refused to recover for him the axe
he had thrown into the pool.
A CONTROVERSY prevailed among the beasts of the
field, as to which of the animals deserved the most
credit for producing the greatest number of whelps
at a birth. They rushed clamorously into the
presence of the lioness, and demanded of her the
settlement of the dispute. "And you," they said,
how many sons have you at a birth ? The lioness
laughed at them, and said: "Why! I have only one;
but that one is altogether a thorough-bred lion."
The value is in the worth, not in the number.
THE PANTHER AND THE SHEPHERDS.
A PANTHER, by some mischance, fell into a pit.
The shepherds discovered him, and threw sticks at
him, and pelted him with stones, while some of them,
moved with compassion towards one about to die
even though no one should hurt him, threw in.some
food to prolong his life. At night they returned
home, not dreaming of any danger, but supposing
that on the morrow they should find him dead.
The panther, however, when he had recruited his
feeble strength, freed himself with a sudden bound
from the pit, and hastened home with rapid steps to
his den. After a few days he came forth and slaugh-
tered the cattle, and, killing the shepherds who had
attacked him, raged with angry fury. Then they
who had spared his life, fearing for their safety,
surrendered to him their flocks, and begged only for
their lives; to whom the panther made this reply:
" I remember alike those who sought my life with
stones, and those who gave me food-lay aside,
therefore, your fears. I return as an enemy only to
those who injured me."
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
THE OAK AND THE REED.
AN oak which stood on the side of a brook was
torn up by the roots in a storm, and as the wind
took it down the stream, its boughs caught on some
reeds which grew on the bank. "How strange it
is," said the oak, that such a slight and frail thing
as a reed should face the blast, while my proud
front, which till now has stood like an Alp, is torn
down, root and branch!" A reed, which caught
the sound of these words, said, in soft tones, "If I
may be free with you, I think the cause of it lies
in your pride of heart. You are stiff and hard, and
trust in your own strength, while we yield and bow
to the rough blast."
It is worse to break than to bend.
WHEN man first saw the camel, he was so fright-
ened at his vast size that he fled away. After a time,
perceiving the meekness and gentleness of his tem-
per, he summoned courage enough to approach him.
Soon afterwards, observing that he was an animal
altogether deficient in spirit, he assumed such bold-
ness as to put a bridle in. his mouth, and to set a
child to drive him.
Use serves to overcome dread.
THE-EAGLE AND THE JACKDAW.
AN eagle flying down from his eyrie on a lofty
rock, seized upon a lamb, and carried him aloft in
his talons. A jackdaw, who witnessed the capture
of the lamb, was stirred with envy, and determined
to emulate the strength and flight of the eagle. He
flew round with ,a great whirr of his wings, and
settled upon a large ram, with the intention of car-
rying him off, but his claws becoming entangled in
his fleece he was not able to release himself, although
he fluttered with his feathers as much as he could. The
shepherd, seeing what had happened, ran up and
caught him. He at once clipped his wings, and
taking him home at night, gave him to his children.
On their saying, Father, what kind of bird is it? "
he replied, To my certain knowledge he is a daw;
but he will have it that he is an eagle."
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 observ-
ing 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.
JUPITER, NEPTUNE, MINERVA, AND
ACCORDING to an ancient legend, the first man was
made by Jupiter, the first bull by Neptune, and the
first house by Minerva. On the completion of their
labors, a dispute arose as to which had made the
most perfect work. They agreed to appoint Momus
as judge, and to abide by his decision. Momus, how-
ever, being very envious of the handicraft of each,
found fault with all. He first blamed the work of
Neptune, because he had not made the horns of the
bull below his eyes, that he might better see where to
strike. He then condemned the work of Jupiter,
because he had not placed the heart of man on the
outside, that everyone might read the thoughts of the
evil-disposed, and take precautions against the in-
tended mischief. And, lastly, he inveighed against
Minerva, because she had not contrived iron wheels
in the foundation of her house, that its inhabitants
might more easily remove if a neighbor should prove
unpleasant. Jupiter, indignant at such inveterate
fault-finding, drove him from his office of judge, and
expelled him from the mansions of Olympus.
THE CRAB AND THE FOX.
A CRAB, forsaking the sea-shore, chose a neighbor-
ing 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 busi-
ness had I on the land, when by my nature and
habits I am only adapted for the sea ?"
Contentment with our lot is an element of happi-
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
74 1~SOP'.S PF. rLES.
so increased in boldness that he went up to him, and
commenced a familiar conversation with him.
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 be-
lieving 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
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
Every tale is not to be believed.
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 pleas-
ant 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: 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.
THE CAT AND VENUS.
A CAT fell in love with a handsome young man,
and entreated Venus that she would change her into
the form of a woman. Venus consented to her re-
quest, and transformed her into a beautiful damsel,
so that the youth saw her, and loved her, and took
her home as his bride. While they were reclining in
their chamber, Venus, wishing to discover if the cat
in her change of shape had also altered her habits of
life, let down a mouse in the middle of the room.
She, quite forgetting her present condition, started up
from the couch, and pursued the mouse, wishing to
eat it. Venus, much disappointed, again caused her
to return to her former shape.
Nature exceeds nurture.
THE TOWN MOUSE AND THE COUNTRY
Now you must know that a town mouse once upon
a time went on a visit to his cousin in the country.
He was rough and ready, this cousin, but he loved
his town friend and made him heartily welcome.
Beans and bacon, cheese and bread, were all he had
to offer, but he offered them freely. The town mouse
rather turned up his long nose at his country fare,
and said: "I cannot understand, cousin, how you
can put up with such poor food as this, but of course
you cannot expect anything better in the country;
come you with me and I will show you how to live.
When you have been in town a week you will won-
der how you could ever have stood a country life."
No sooner said than done: the two mice set off for
the town and arrived at the town mouse's residence
late at night, You will want some refreshment after
our long journey," said the polite town mouse, and
took his friend into the grand dining-room. There
they found the remains of a fine feast, and soon the
two mice were eating up jellies and cakes and all
that was nice. Suddenly they heard growling and
barking. "'What is that ?" said the country mouse.
"It is only the dogs of the house," answered the
other. "Only!" said the country mouse. "I do
not like that music at my dinner." Just at that
moment the door flew open, in came two huge mas-
tiffs, and the two mice had to scamper down and run
off. "Good-bye, cousin," said the country mouse.
"What! going so soon? said the other. "Yes,"
Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and
ale in fear.
THE TWO FROGS.
Two frogs were neighbors. 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.
,ESOP'S FABLES. 79
THE BUFFOON AND THE COUNTRYMAN.
A RICH nobleman once opened the theatres with-
out charge to the people, and gave a public notice
that he would handsomely reward any person who
should invent a new amusement for the occasion.
Various public performers contended for the prize.
Among them came a buffoon well known among
the populace for his jokes, and said that he had a
kind of entertainment which had never been brought
out on any stage before. This report being spread
about made a great stir in the place, and the theatre
was crowded in every part. The buffoon appeared
alone upon the boards, without any apparatus or
confederates,.and the very sense of expectation caused
an intense silence. The buffoon suddenly bent his
head towards his bosom, and imitated the squeaking
of a little pig so admirably with his voice, that the
audience declared that he had a porker under his
cloak, and demanded that it should be shaken out.
When that was done, and yet nothing was found,
they cheered the actor, and loaded him with the
loudest applause. A countryman in the crowd,
observing all that had passed, said, So help me,
Hercules, he shall not beat me at that trick! and
at once proclaimed that he would do the same thing
on the next day, though in a much more natural
way. On the morrow a still larger crowd assembled
in the theatre; but now partiality for their favorite
actor very generally prevailed, and the audience
came rather to ridicule the countryman than to see
the spectacle. Both of the performers, however,
appeared on the stage. The buffoon grunted and
squeaked away first, and obtained, as on the pre-
ceding day, the applause and cheers of the spectators.
Next the countryman commenced, and pretending
that he concealed a little pig beneath his clothes
(which in truth he did, but not suspected of the
audience) contrived to lay hold of and to pull his
ear, when he began to squeak, and to express in his
pain the actual cry of the pig. The crowd, however,
cried out with one consent that the buffoon had given
a far more exact imitation, and clamored for the
countryman to be kicked out of the theatre. On
this the rustic produced a little pig from his cloak,
and showed by the most positive proof the greatness
of their mistake. "Look here," he said, "this
shows what sort of judges you are."
THE SHIPWRECKED MAN AND THE SEA.
A SHIPWRECKED man, having been cast upon a
certain shore, slept after his buffetings with the deep.
After a while waking up, when he looked upon the
sea, he loaded it with reproaches that, enticing men
with the calmness of its looks, when it had induced
them to plough its waters, it grew rough and de-
stoyed them utterly. The sea, assuming the form of
a woman, replied to him: Blame not me, my good
sir, but the winds, for I am by my own nature as
calm and firm even as this earth; but the winds
falling on me on a sudden, create these waves, and
lash me into fury."
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 deco-
rated, not in body, but in mind."
THE EAGLE AND THE BEETLE.
THE eagle and the beetle were at enmity together,
and they destroyed one another's nests. The eagle
gave the first provocation in seizing upon and in
eating the young ones of the beetle. The beetle got
by stealth at the eagle's eggs, and rolled them out of
the nest, and followed the eagle even into the pres-
ence of Jupiter. On the eagle making his complaint,
Jupiter ordered him to make his nest in his lap; and
while Jupiter had the eggs in his lap, the beetle
came flying about him, and Jupiter rising up un-
awares, to drive him away from his head, threw
down the eggs, and broke them.
The weak often revenge themselves on those who
use them ill, even though they be the,more power-
THE HUNTER AND THE HORSEMAN.
A CERTAIN hunter having snared a hare, placed it
upon his shoulders, and set out homewards. He
met on his way with a man on horseback who begged
the hare of him, under the pretence of purchasing it.
The horseman having got the hare, rode off as fast
as he could. The hunter ran after him, as if he was
sure of overtaking him. The horseman, however,
increasing more and more the distance between
them, the hunter, sorely against his will, called out
to him, and said, "Get along with you! for I will
"now make you a present of the hare."
THE BOY BATHING.
A BOY bathing in a river was in danger of being
drowned. He called out to a traveler, passing by,
for help. The traveler, 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 QUACK FROG.
A FROG once on a time came forth from his home in
the marsh, and made proclamation to all the beasts
that he was a learned physician, skilled in the use of
drugs, and able to heal all diseases. A fox asked
him, How can you pretend to prescribe for others,
who are unable to heal your own lame gait and
wrinkled skin ?"
THE ROSE AND THE AMARANTH.
AN amaranth planted in a garden near a rose-tree,
thus addressed it: What a lovely flower is the rose,
a favorite alike with gods and with men. I envy
you your beauty and your perfume." The rose
replied, "I indeed, dear amaranth, flourish but for
a brief season! If no cruel hand pluck me from my
stem, yet I must perish by an early doom. But thou
art immortal, and dost never fade, but bloomest for
ever in renewed youth."
THE TRAVELERS AND THE PLANE-TREE.
Two travelers, worn out by the heat of the sum-
mer's sun, laid themselves down at noon under the
wide-spreading branches of a plane-tree. As they
rested under its shade, one of the travelers said to
the other, "What a singularly useless tree is the
plane! It bears no fruit, and is not of the least ser-
vice to man." The plane-tree, interrupting him,
said, "You ungrateful fellows! Do you, while re-
ceiving benefits from me, and resting under my shade,
dare to describe me as useless, and unprofitable?"
Some men despise their best blessings.
THE FLY AND THE DRAUGHT-MULE.
A FLY sat on the axle-tree of a chariot, and address-
ing the draught-mule said, How slow you are!
Why do you not go faster? See if I do not prick
your neck with my sting." The draught-mule re-
plied, "I do not heed your threats; I only care for
him who sits above you, and who quickens my pace
with his whip, or holds me back with the reins.
Away, therefore, with your insolence, for I know
well when to go fast, and when to go slow."
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 neighbor saw him
running, and said, "Oh! you foolish fellow; you say
you can foretell the fortunes of others; how is it you
did not foresee your own ?"
THE CROW AND THE PITCHER.
A CROW, ready to die with thirst, flew with joy to
a pitcher, which he saw at a distance. But when he
came up to it, he found the water so low that with
all his stooping and straining he was unable to reach
it. Thereupon he tried to break the pitcher; then to
overturn it; but his strength was not sufficient to do
either. At last, seeing some small pebbles at hand,
he dropped a great many of them, one by one, into
the pitcher, and so raised the water to the brim, and
quenched his thirst.
Skill and patience will succeed where force fails.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
THE OLIVE-TREE AND THE FIG-TREE.
THE olive-tree ridiculed the fig-tree because, while
she was green all the year round, the fig-tree changed
its leaves with the seasons. A shower of snow fell
upon them, and, finding the olive full of foliage, it
settled upon its branches, and, breaking them down
with its weight, at once despoiled it of its beauty
and killed the tree; but finding the fig-tree denuded
of leaves, it fell through to the ground, and did not
injure it at all.
THE LION AND THE THREE BULLS.
THREE bulls for a long time pastured together.
A lion lay in ambush in the hope of making them
his prey, but was afraid to attack them while they
kept together. Having at last by guileful speeches
succeeded in separating them, he attacked them
without fear, as they fed alone, and feasted on them
one by one at his own leisure.
In union there is strength.
HERCULES AND THE WAGONER.
A CARTER was driving a wagon along a country
lane, when the wheels sank down deep into a rut.
The rustic driver, stupefied and aghast, stood looking
at the wagon, and did nothing but utter loud cries
to Hercules to come and help him. Hercules, it is
said, appeared, and thus addressed him:-" Put your
shoulders to the wheels, my man. Goad on your
bullocks, and never more pray to me for help, until
you have done your best to help yourself, or depend
upon it you will henceforth pray in vain."
Self-help is the best help.
THE 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 him-
self to that side which was the strongest. When
peace was proclaimed, his deceitful conduct was
apparent to both the combatants. Therefore being
condemned by each for his treachery, he was driven
forth from the light of day, and henceforth concealed
himself in dark hiding-places, flying always alone
and at night.
THE 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 favorably to
these proposals, and, entering the den of the wolves,
they were set upon and torn to pieces.
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? "
THE PEACOCK AND THE CRANE.
A PEACOCK spreading its gorgeous tail mocked a
crane that passed by, ridiculing the ashen hue of its
plumage, and saying, "I am robed, like a king, in
gold and purple, and all the colors of the rainbow;
while you have not a bit of color on your wings."
"True," replied the crane; "but I soar to the
heights of heaven, and lift up my voice to the stars,
while you walk below, like a cock, among the birds
of the dunghill."
Fine feathers don't make fine birds.
THE SHE-GOATS AND THEIR BEARDS.
THE she-goats having obtained by request from
Jupiter the favor of a beard, the he-goats, sorely dis-
pleased, made complaint that the females equalled
them in dignity. "Suffer them," said Jupiter, "to
enjoy an empty honor, and to assume the badge of
your nobler sex, so long as they are not your equals
in strength or courage."
It matters little if those who are inferior to us in
merit should be like us in outside appearances.
THE ASS AND THE FROGS.
AN ass, carrying a load of wood, passed through a
po~d. 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 lamenta-
tion, 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 FATHER AND HIS TWO DAUGHTERS.
A MAN had two daughters, the one married to a
gardener, and the other to a tile-maker. After a
time he went to the daughter who had married the
gardener, and inquired how she was, and how all
things went with her. She said, "All things are
prospering with me, and I have only one wish, that
there may be a heavy fall of rain, in order that the
plants may be well watered." Not long after he
went to the daughter who had married the tile-
maker, and likewise inquired of her how she fared;
she replied, I want for nothing, and have only one
wish, that the dry weather may continue, and the
sun shine hot and bright, so that the bricks might be
dried.' He said to her, If your sister wishes for
rain, and you for dry weather, with which of the
two am I to join my wishes ? "
THE 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 compassionate his sufferings, and in-
quired 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 LARK BURYING ITS FATHER.
THE lark (according to an ancient legend) was
created before the earth itself: and when her father
died by a fell disease, as there was no earth, she could
find for him no place of burial. She let him lie un-
interred for five days, and on the sixth day, being in
perplexity, she buried him in her own head. Hence
she obtained her crest, which is popularly said to be
her father's grave-hillock.
Youth's first duty is reverence to parents.
THE ASS AND HIS DRIVER.
AN ass that was being driven along the road by
his master, started on ahead, and, leaving the beaten
track, made as fast as he could for the edge of a
precipice. When he was just on the point of falling
over, his master ran up, and seizing him by the tail,
tried to pull him back; but the ass resisting and
pulling the contrary way, the man let go his hold,
saying, "Well, Jack, if you will be master, I cannot
help it. A wilful beast must go his own way; con-
quer, but conquer to your cost."
THE WOLVES AND THE SHEEP.
"WHY should there always be this internecine
and implacable warfare between us?" said the
wolves to the sheep. "Those evil-disposed dogs
have much to answer for. They always bark when-
ever we approach you, and attack us before we have
done any harm. If you would only dismiss them
from your heels, there might soon be treaties of
peace and of reconciliation between us." The
sheep, poor silly creatures! were easily beguiled,
and dismissed the dogs. The wolves destroyed the
unguarded flock at their own pleasure.
THE OLD WOMAN AND THE PHYSICIAN.
AN old woman having lost the use of her eyes,
called in a physician to heal them, and made this
bargain with him in the presence of witnesses: that
if he should cure her blindness, he should receive
from her a sum of money; but if her infirmity re-
mained, she should give him nothing. This agree-
ment being entered into, the physician, time after
time, applied his salve to her eyes, and on every
visit taking something away, stole by little and
little all her property: and when he had got all she
had, he healed her, and demanded the promised
payment. The old woman, when she recovered her
Sight and saw none of her goods in her house, would
give him nothing. The physician insisted on his
claim, and, as she still refused, summoned her be-
fore the Archons. The old woman standing up In
the court thus spoke:-" This man here speaks the
truth in what he says; for I did promise to give him
a sum of money, if I should recover my sight: but
if I continued blind, I was to give him nothing.
Now he declares, 'that I am healed.' I on the con-
trary affirm that I am still blind;' for when I lost
the use of my eyes, I saw in my house various
chattels and valuable goods: but now, though he
swears I am cured of my blindness, I am not able to
see a single thing in it."
THE BITCH AND HER WHELPS.
A BITCH ready to whelp, earnestly begged of a
shepherd a place where she might litter. On her
request being granted, she again besought permis-
sion to rear her puppies in the same spot. The
shepherd again consented. But at last the bitch,
protected with the body-guard of her whelps, who
had now grown up, and were able to defend them-
selves, asserted her exclusive right to the place, and
would not permit the shepherd to approach.
THE FOX AND THE CRANE.
A FOX invited a crane to supper, and provided
nothing for his entertainment but some soup made
of pulse, and poured out into a broad flat stone dish.
The soup fell out of the long bill of the crane at
every mouthful, and his vexation at not being able
to eat afforded the fox most intense amusement.
The crane, in his turn, asked the fox to sup with
him, and set before her a flagon, with a long narrow
mouth, so that he could easily insert his neck, and
enjoy its contents at his leisure; while the fox, un-
able even to taste it, met with a fitting requital,
after the fashion of her own hospitality.
THE FATHER AND HIS SONS.
A FATHER had a family of sons who were per-
petually quarreling among themselves. When he
failed to heal their disputes by his exhortations, he
determined to give them a practical illustration of
the evils of disunion; and for this purpose he one
day told them to bring him a bundle of sticks.
When they had done so, he placed the faggot into
the hands of each of them in succession,, and ordered
them to break it in pieces. They each triedwith all
their strength, and were not able to do it. He next
unclosed the faggot, and took the sticks separately,
one by one, and again put them into their hands,
on which they broke them easily. He then ad-
dressed them in these words: "My sons, if you are
of one mind, and unite to assist each other, you will
be as this faggot, uninjured by all the attempts of
your enemies; but if you are divided among your-
selves, you will be broken as easily as these sticks."