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JAI SRI RAM

AESOP FABLES

Compiled by S.Geethapriya Price Rs. 22.00 Published by

Sri Aanjineyaa Pathippagam


1849, P.K.N ROAD, MUTHU CYCLE COMPLEX, BYE PASS ROAD, SIVAKASI-626 189 CELL : 90034 - 58722

CONTENTS
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Plane Truth The Sea pleads helplessness The Foolish Dog The Unseen Enemy Last Boast The Ant and the Grasshopper The Mouse, the Frog, and the Hawk The Sick Lion The Lion, the Fox, and the Ass The The The The The Fox and the Monkey Monkey and the Camel Fox and the Hedgehog Hare And The Tortoise oil-lamp humbled 6 8 10 12 14 16 19 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

CONTENTS
Pale Hunter The Ailing Deer The Foolish Donkey The Clever Sheep Monkey Business A Cartload of Almonds Fox in the Cart Foxy Rooster Belling the Cat The Bundle of Sticks The Dog in the Manger The Fox and the Goat The Fox and the Stork The Frog and the Ox 36 38 40 42 44 46 49 51 53 56 60 63 65 68

CONTENTS
29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. The Goose with the Golden Eggs The Man and the Satyr The Miser and his Gold The Wind and the Sun The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing The Woodman and the Serpent The Ant and the Chrysalis The Dancing Monkeys The Thief and the Innkeeper 72 74 78 82 85 88 90 92 94

1. Plane Truth
Two travelers, seeking respite from the searing heat of the midday sun, took shelter under a leafy tree. They soon felt cool and refreshed. What sort of tree is this? Does it produce edible fruits? asked one of the men to the other.

The Life of Aesop is shrouded in obscurity. Sardis, Samos, Mesembria, and Cotiaeum, are all thought to be his place of birth. Aesop is almost universally considered to have been born around 620 B.C., and to have been born into slavery. He was ultimately set free by one of his masters due to his learning and wit. His desire to learn was intense and he

7 Its a plane tree, said his companion. Dont waste your time looking for fruits. It produces neither edible fruits nor good wood. Its one of the most useless trees around. How can you say that when youre enjoying my shade at this very moment? snapped the tree .

2. The Sea pleads helplessness


A shipwrecked man, struggled mightily against the waves and was finally cast ashore, more dead than alive. When finally he regained consciousness, he saw that the sea was as calm as a pond.

Moral: Often, a persons worst critics are those who have benefited the most from him.

9 "How deceitful you are!" he shouted to the sea. "You draw men unto you showing your peaceful side but when they are in your power you wreak fury against them!" The sea took the form of a woman to defend herself. "Blame me not!" said the woman. "I'm always peaceful. It is the wind that creates waves and turns me into a monster."

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3. The Foolish Dog


There was once a dog that used to run up quietly behind people and bite their heels. Fed up of the numerous complaints, the owner tied a bell around the dogs neck so that the sound of the bell would alert people whenever the animal came near them.

Moral:

Beware

of

people

who

are

controlled by others.

11 The dog felt the bell was a reward of some sort and became extremely conceited, turning up his nose whenever he met other dogs on the street. One day a hound brought him down to earth with some plain speaking and when the dog learnt why the bell had been put around his neck he slunk away in shame.

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4. The Unseen Enemy


A gnat, annoyed with a lion, for disturbing its sleep with its roaring, stung the beast on its snout. The lion tried to crush it with its paws but without success. The insect dodged the great cats claws and stung it again on its face.

Moral: Sometimes what appears to be a clap on the back is actually a slap on the face.

13 Elated by its victory over the king of beasts, the gnat turned to gloat. Unfortunately, there was a web in its path. It got caught in the web, and was devoured by the spider.

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5. Last Boast
A fir tree said boastingly to the bramble bush growing in its shade: You are useless. Nobody wants you. I am everywhere used for roofs and houses. Men cant

Moral: An insignificant foe is sometimes more dangerous than a mighty adversary because were not on guard against it.

do without me.

15 Youre so right, said the bramble. Heres a man coming to you with an axe, right now. Farewell.

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6. The Ant and the Grasshopper


In a field one summer's day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

Moral: Pride comes before a fall.

17 "Why not come and chat with me," said the Grasshopper, "Instead of toiling and moiling in that way?" "I am helping to lay up food for the winter," said the Ant, "and recommend you to do the same." "Why bother about winter?" said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present." But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil. When the winter came the Grasshopper found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing, every day, corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew...

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It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.

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20 The Frog enjoyed the water amazingly, and swam croaking about, as if he had done a good deed. The unhappy Mouse was soon suffocated by the water, and his dead body floated about on the surface, tied to the foot of the Frog.

7. The Mouse, the Frog, and the Hawk


A Mouse who always lived on the land, by an unlucky chance formed an intimate acquaintance with a Frog, who lived for the most part in the water. The Frog, one day intent on mischief, bound the foot of the Mouse tightly to his own. Thus joined together, the Frog first of all led his friend the Mouse to the meadow where they were accustomed to find their food. After this, he gradually led him towards the pool in which he lived, until reaching the very brink, he suddenly jumped in, dragging the Mouse with him.

21 A Hawk observed it, and, pouncing upon it with his talons, carried it aloft. The Frog, being still fastened to the leg of the Mouse, was also carried off a prisoner, and was eaten by the Hawk.

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8. The Sick Lion


A Lion, unable from old age and infirmities to provide himself with food by force, resolved to do so by artifice. He returned to his den, and lying down there, pretended to be sick, taking care that his sickness should be publicly known.

Moral: Harm hatch, harm catch.

The beasts expressed their sorrow, and came one by one to his den, where the Lion devoured them. After many of the beasts had thus disappeared, the Fox discovered the trick and presenting himself to the Lion, stood on the outside of the cave, at a respectful distance, and asked him how he was. "I am very middling," replied the Lion, "but why do you stand without? Pray enter within to

23 talk with me." "No, thank you," said the Fox. "I notice that there are many prints of feet entering your cave, but I see no trace of any returning."

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9. The Lion, the Fox, and the Ass


The Lion, the Fox and the Ass entered into an agreement to assist each other in the chase. Having secured a large booty, the Lion on their return from the forest asked the Ass to allot his due portion to each of the three partners in the treaty. The Ass carefully divided the spoil into three equal shares and modestly requested the two others to make the first choice. The Lion, bursting out into a great rage, devoured the Ass. Then he requested the Fox to do him the favor to make a division. The Fox accumulated all that they had killed into one large heap and left to himself the smallest possible morsel.

He

is

wise

who

is

warned

by

the

misfortunes of others

25 The Lion said, "Who has taught you, my very excellent fellow, the art of division? You are perfect to a fraction. He replied, "I learned it from the Ass, by witnessing his fate."

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10. The Fox and the Monkey


A Monkey once danced in an assembly of the Beasts, and so pleased them all by his performance that they elected him their King. A Fox, envying him the honor, discovered a piece of meat lying in a trap, and leading the Monkey

Happy

is

she

who

learns

from

the

misfortunes of others

27 to the place where it was, said that she had found a store, but had not used it, she had kept it for him as treasure trove of his kingdom, and counseled him to lay hold of it. The Monkey approached carelessly and was caught in the trap; and on his accusing the Fox of purposely leading him into the snare, she replied, "Oh Monkey, and are you, with such a mind as yours, going to be King over the Beasts?

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11. The Monkey and the Camel


The beasts of the forest gave a splendid entertainment at which the Monkey stood up and danced. Having vastly delighted the assembly, he sat down amidst universal applause.

29 The Camel, envious of the praises bestowed on the Monkey and desiring to divert to himself the favor of the guests, proposed to stand up in his turn and dance for their amusement. He moved about in so utterly ridiculous a manner that the Beasts, in a fit of indignation, set upon him with clubs and drove him out of the assembly.

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12. 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, sick, and unable to move. A swarm of hungry blood-sucking flies settled upon him.

Moral:

It is absurd to ape our betters.

31 A Hedgehog, passing by, saw his anguish and inquired if he should drive away the flies that were tormenting him. "By no means," replied the Fox; "pray do not molest them." "How is this?' said the Hedgehog; "do you not want to be rid of them? "No," returned the Fox, "for these flies which you see are full of blood, and sting me but little, and if you rid me of these which are already satiated, others more hungry will come in their place, and will drink up all the blood I have left."

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13. The Hare and the Tortoise


A Hare one day ridiculed the short feet and slow pace of the Tortoise, who replied, laughing: "Though you be swift as the wind, I will beat you in a race." The Hare, believing her assertion to be simply impossible, assented to the proposal; and they agreed that the Fox should choose the course and fix the goal. On the day appointed for the race the two started together. The Tortoise never for a moment stopped, but went on with a slow but steady pace straight to the end of the course. The Hare, lying down by the wayside, fell fast asleep.

33 At last waking up, and moving as fast as he could, he saw the Tortoise had reached the goal, and was comfortably dozing after her fatigue. Slow but steady wins the race.

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14. The oil-lamp humbled


An oil-lamp, observing how well it was lighting up the area around it, was filled with pride. "Even the sun could not do better!" he boasted . Just then the wind started to blow and the lamp went out.

Slow and steady wins the race

35 "Next time you think of comparing yourself to the sun," said its owner, re-lighting it, "remember the sun doesn't have to be re-lit."

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15. Pale Hunter


A man who wanted to be known as a fearless hunter set out to bag game. He found the tracks of a lion and followed them till they disappeared in stony ground. Just then, a woodcutter came by. Look here, my man," said the hunter grandly. "I was following a lion and have lost his tracks. Can you help me find them again?"

37 "There's no need to look for his tracks," said the woodcutter. "I'll take you to the lion himself. The hunter turned pale. "The l-lion," he said, "no, no, just show me his tracks."

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16. The Ailing Deer


A sick stag was lying in a corner, helpless and weak. He was glad he had collected enough grass to last him through his period of illness. But suddenly, to his dismay, he saw that some friends who had come to see him were helping themselves to the food.

Moral: One who pretends to be what he is not is soon exposed.

39 "Please go away," he said. "My illness will not kill me but your greed certainly could."

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17. The Foolish Donkey


An idol-maker had to deliver an idol to a customer. He placed it on his donkey's back and they started on their journey.

Moral:

Thoughtless

friends

are

more

harmful than enemies.

Now the idol-maker was extremely skilled at his job and this particular idol was one of the best he had ever made. Whoever saw it, stopped to bow down and pray.

41 The donkey thought they were bowing to him. He was enormously pleased and flattered and not wishing to go away from a place where he was held in such high esteem, came to an abrupt stop. Nothing his master did would induce him to start walking again, and finally his master lifted the idol on to own head and resumed his journey. The donkey stood where he was, head held high, and braying sonorously until he suddenly became aware that there was no one watching him. The people were now following his master and bowing to the idol. The donkey realized that his pride had clouded his judgment and feeling ashamed of himself, ran to rejoin his master. One day a wolf cornered a

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18. The Clever Sheep


sheep. "You can't escape, said the wolf, baring his teeth. "I know," said the sheep, softly.

"Please grant me a last wish. Sing a song so that I may dance one last time.

43 "Certainly,' said the wolf and throwing back his head began to howl Hearing him howl the farmer's dogs rushed to the spot and drove him away.

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19. Monkey Business


A monkey climbed the roof of a house and entertained the people who had gathered below to watch it, with its antics. After it had gone, an ass who craved popularity climbed the roof and tried to perform the same tricks.

Moral: Don't attempt anything that is beyond your ability

45 In the process, it dislodged and broke several tiles. The owner of the house was furious. His servants went up, drove the ass down, and beat it black and blue. 47

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20. A Cartload of Almonds


A squirrel joined the service of the King of the Forest, the lion. He did whatever work was given him, quickly 48 and well. squirrel had waited so long for this day but The The lion fond of him and promised to with give when hebecame saw the almonds, he was seized him a cartload of almonds as pension when he sadness.

Moral: Actions that suit others may not suit you. Be yourself.

retired. He realized they were of no use to him now. He had The all squirrel envied the other squirrels in the forest lost his teeth. because of their carefree life. He longed to run up and down trees and leap from branch to branch like them but he could not leave the king's side and even if he could he had to move with courtly dignity. He consoled himself with the thought that at the end of his career, he would receive a cartload of almonds, a food that few squirrels got to taste in their lifetime.

"They will envy me then," he would tell himself. The years passed. The squirrel became old and then it was time for him to retire. The king gave a grand banquet in his honor and at the end of it, presented him with a cartload of almonds as he had promised.

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50 Then he resumed his journey. The fox ate his fill of

21. Fox in the Cart


A fox observing a fish cart coming lay down and pretended to be dead. The cart man, tempted by the idea of making some money by selling the fox's fur, picked up the animal by its tail and flung it into the back of the cart among the fish.

the fish and jumped out of the cart. A wolf saw him jumping out and asked him what he had been doing in it. The fox told him and also how he had got into it in the first place. The wolf ran ahead of the cart and lay down in its path, pretending to be dead. The cart man was delighted to find another animal to sell, but he found the animal too heavy to lift. So he pushed it into a sack, tied the sack to his cart and dragged it away.

Moral: What works for one may not work for another.

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22. Foxy Rooster


A fox sneaked into a farm and grabbed a prize rooster. The farmer saw him and raised the alarm and he and his dogs started chasing the thief. The fox, though he was holding the rooster in his mouth, was running very fast.

"Get him! Get him!" shouted the farmer to his dogs. "No!" suddenly screamed the rooster. "Don't come near me!" "My master was very cruel to me," explained the rooster to the fox. "Tell him to stay away from me." The fox was delighted. "He wants you to stay away from him!" he shouted at the farmer, in the process releasing his hold on the rooster. The rooster flew up into a tree and stayed there till he was rescued by his master.

Moral: Think twice before you open your mouth to speak

53 approve and carry it out.

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23. Belling the Cat

It is that we should fasten a bell around the neck of our enemy the cat, which will, by its tinkling, warn us of her approach."

Once upon a time, all the mice met, together in council, to discuss the best means of securing themselves against the attacks of the cat.

After several suggestions had been debated, a Mouse of some standing and experience got up and said, "I think I have hit upon a plan which will ensure our safety in the future, provided you

This proposal was warmly applauded, and it had been decided to adopt it, when an old Mouse got upon his feet and said, "I agree with you all

55 that the plan before us is an admirable one: but may I ask who is going to bell the cat?"

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24. The Bundle of Sticks


A father had a family of sons who were perpetually quarreling among themselves. When he failed to heal their disputes by his exhortations, he determined to give them a

Moral: It is easy to propose impossible remedies.

57 He next opened the bundle, took the 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 bundle into the hands of each of them in succession, and ordered them to break it in pieces. They tried with all their strength, and were not able to do it.

58 sticks separately, one by one, and again put them into his sons' hands, upon which they broke them easily.

He then addressed them in these words: "My

59 sons, if you are of one mind, and unite to assist each other, you will be as this bundle, uninjured by all the attempts of your enemies; but if you are divided among yourselves, you will be broken as easily as these sticks."

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25. The Dog in the Manger


A Dog, looking out for its afternoon nap, jumped into the Manger of an Ox and lay there cozily upon the straw. But soon the Ox, returning from its afternoon work, came up to

Union gives strength.

61 the Manger and wanted to eat some of the straw . The Dog in a rage, being awakened from its slumber, stood up and barked at the Ox, and whenever it came near attempted to bite it.

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Moral: People often grudge others what


At last the Ox had to give up the hope of getting at the straw, and went away muttering...

they cannot enjoy themselves.

63 you come down too?"

64 order to be sure to have water by me. Why don't

26. The Fox and the Goat


By an unlucky chance a Fox fell into a deep well from which he could not get out. A Goat passed shortly afterwards, and asked the Fox what he was doing down there. "Oh, have you not heard?" said the Fox; "there is going to be a great drought, so I jumped down here in

The Goat thought well of this advice, and jumped down into the well. But the Fox immediately jumped on her back, and by putting his foot on her long horns managed to jump up to the edge of the well. "Good-bye, friend," said the Fox. Remember next time...

Never trust the advice of a man in difficulties.

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66 "I am sorry," said the Fox, "the soup is not to your

27. The Fox and the Stork


At one time the Fox and the Stork were on visiting terms and seemed very good friends. So the Fox invited the Stork to dinner, and for a joke put nothing before her but some soup in a very shallow dish. This the Fox could easily lap up, but the Stork could only wet the end of her long bill in it, and left the meal as hungry as when she began.

liking." "Pray do not apologize," said the Stork. "I hope you will return this visit, and come and dine with me soon." So a day was appointed when the Fox should visit the Stork; but when they were seated at table all that was for their dinner was contained

67 in a very long-necked jar with a narrow mouth, in which the fox could not insert his snout, so all he could manage to do was to lick the outside of the jar. "I will not apologize for dinner," said the Stork...

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28. The Frog and the Ox


"Oh Father," said a little Frog to the big one sitting by the side of a pool, "I have seen such a terrible monster! It was big as a mountain, with horns on its head, and a long tail, and it had hoofs divided in two."

One bad turn deserves another.

"Tush, child, tush," said the old Frog, "that was only Farmer White's Ox. It isn't so big either; he may be a little bit taller than I, but I could easily

69 make myself quite as broad; just you see."

70 "Was he as big as that?" he asked. "Oh, much bigger than that," said the young Frog.

Again the old one blew himself out and asked the So he blew himself out, and blew himself out, and blew himself out. young one if the Ox was as big as that.

71 "Bigger, Father, bigger," was the reply. So the Frog took a deep breath, and blew and blew and blew, and swelled and swelled. And then he said, "I'm sure the Ox is not as big as this." But at that moment he burst. 72

29. The Goose with the Golden Eggs


One day a countryman going to the nest of his goose found there an egg all yellow and glittering. When he took it up it was as heavy as lead and he was going to throw it away, because he thought a trick had been played on him. But he took it home on second thoughts, and soon found that it was an egg of pure gold.

Self-conceit may lead to self-destruction.

73 Every morning the same thing occurred, and he grew rich by selling his eggs. As he grew rich he grew greedy; and thinking to get at once all the gold the goose could give, he killed it and opened it only to find nothing.

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30. The Man and the Satyr


A Man had lost his way in a wood one bitter winter's night. As he was roaming about, a Satyr came up to him, and finding that he had lost his way, promised to give him lodging for the night.

Greed often overreaches itself.

As he went along to the Satyr's cell, the Man raised both his hands to his mouth and kept on blowing at them.

75 "What do you do that for?" said the Satyr. "My hands are numb with the cold," said the Man, "and my breath warms them."

76 porridge before him. But when the Man raised his spoon to his mouth, he began blowing upon it. "And what do you do that for?" said the Satyr. "The porridge is too hot, and my breath will cool it."

After this they arrived at the Satyr's home, and soon the Satyr put a smoking dish of

77 "Out you go," said the Satyr. "I will have naught to do with a man who can blow hot and cold with the same breath."

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31. The Miser and his Gold


Once upon a time there was a Miser who used to hide his gold at the foot of a tree in his garden; but every week he used to go and dig it up and gloat over his gains.

A robber, who had noticed this, went and dug up the gold and decamped with it. When the Miser next came to gloat over his treasures, he found nothing but the empty hole.

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80

"Did you ever take any of it out?" asked one of them.

He tore his hair, and raised such an outcry that all the neighbors came around him, and he told them how he used to come and visit his gold. "Nay, said he, "I only came to look at it." "Then come again and look at the hole," said a neighbor; "it will do you just as much good."

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32. The Wind and the Sun


The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger.

Wealth unused might as well not exist

Suddenly they saw a traveler coming down the road, and the Sun said: "I see a way to

83 decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveler to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin."

84 Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveler, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.

So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveler. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give in despair.

Kindness affects more than severity

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33. The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

The Lamb that belonged to the sheep, whose skin the Wolf was wearing, began to follow the Wolf in the Sheep's clothing. A Wolf found great difficulty in getting at the sheep owing to the vigilance of the shepherd and his dogs. But one day it found the skin of a sheep that had been flayed and thrown aside, so it put in on over its own pelt and strolled down among the sheep. So, leading the Lamb a little apart, he soon made a meal off her, and for some time he succeeded in deceiving the sheep, and enjoying hearty meals.

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34. The Woodman and the Serpent


One wintry day a Woodman was tramping home from his work when he saw something black lying on the snow. When he came closer he saw it was a Serpent to all appearance dead. But he took it up and put it in his bosom to warm while he hurried home. As soon as he got indoors he put the Serpent down on the hearth before the fire. The children watched it and saw it slowly come to life again. Then one of them stooped down to stroke it, but the Serpent raised its head and put out its fangs and was about to sting the child to

Appearances are deceptive...

death.

89 So the Woodman seized his axe, and with one stroke cut the Serpent in two. "Ah," said he.

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35. The Ant and the Chrysalis


An Ant nimbly running about in the sunshine in search of food came across a Chrysalis that was very near its time of change. The Chrysalis moved its tail, and thus attracted the attention of the Ant, who then saw for the first time that it was alive.

"No gratitude from the wicked."

"Poor, pitiable animal!" cried the Ant disdainfully. "What a sad fate is yours! While I can run hither and thither, at my pleasure, and, if I wish, ascend the tallest tree, you lie imprisoned here in your shell, with power only to move a joint or two of your scaly tail." The Chrysalis heard all this, but did not try to make any reply. A few days after, when the Ant passed that way again, nothing but the shell remained.

91 Wondering what had become of its contents, he felt himself suddenly shaded and fanned by the gorgeous wings of a beautiful Butterfly. "Behold in me," said the Butterfly, "your much93 pitied friend! Boast now of your powers to run and climb as longspectacle as you can getcame me toto listen." The dancing thus an end amidst So the Butterfly inaudience. the air, and, borne the saying, laughter and ridicule rose of the along and aloft on the summer breeze, was soon lost to the sight of the Ant forever. The spectacle

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36. The Dancing Monkeys


A PRINCE had some Monkeys trained to dance. Being naturally great mimics of men's actions, 94they showed themselves most apt pupils, and when arrayed in their rich clothes and masks, they danced as well as any of the courtiers.

37. The Thief and the Innkeeper


was often repeated

with

great

applause, till on occasion a courtier, bent on A THIEF hired a one room in a tavern and stayed a mischief, took hope from of his stealing pocket a handful ofwhich nuts while in the something

"Appearances are is deceptive." "Not everything you see what it appears to be."

and threw them upon should enable him to the pay stage. his reckoning. When he had waited some days in vain, he saw the The Monkeys at thein sight of the forgot their Innkeeper dressed a new andnuts handsome coat dancing and became (as indeed they and sitting before his door. The Thief sat were) down Monkeys instead of actors. beside him and talked with him. Pulling their masks and tearing they As theoff conversation began to their flag, robes, the Thief fought with one and another forsame the nuts. yawned terribly at the 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, or I shall tear them to pieces. I know not, sir, when I got this habit of yawning, nor whether these attacks of howling

95 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 like a wolf, as he had at first. The Innkeeper hearing his tale and believing what he said, became greatly alarmed and, rising from his seat, attempted to run away. The Thief laid hold of his coat and entreated him to stop, saying, "Pray wait, sir, and hold my clothes, or I shall tear them to pieces in my fury, when I turn into a wolf." At the same moment he yawned the third time and set up a terrible howl.

96 96 could into the inn

The

Innkeeper,

frightened

lest

he

should

be

attacked, left his new coat in the Thief's hand and ran as fast as for safety. The Thief made off with the coat and did not return again to the inn.

Moral:

Every tale is not to be believed.