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Aesop's Fables   



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


The Cat and the Cock

A CAT caught a Cock, and pondered how he might find a reasonable
excuse for eating him. He accused him of being a nuisance to men
by crowing in the nighttime and not permitting them to sleep.
The Cock defended himself by saying that he did this for the
benefit of men, that they might rise in time for their labors.
The Cat replied, "Although you abound in specious apologies, I
shall not remain supperless"; and he made a meal of him.


The Piglet, the Sheep, and the Goat

A YOUNG PIG was shut up in a fold-yard with a Goat and a Sheep.
On one occasion when the shepherd laid hold of him, he grunted
and squeaked and resisted violently. The Sheep and the Goat
complained of his distressing cries, saying, "He often handles
us, and we do not cry out." To this the Pig replied, "Your
handling and mine are very different things. He catches you only
for your wool, or your milk, but he lays hold on me for my very
life."


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 tried 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 Lion in Love

A LION demanded the daughter of a woodcutter in marriage. The
Father, unwilling to grant, and yet afraid to refuse his request,
hit upon this expedient to rid himself of his importunities. He
expressed his willingness to accept the Lion as the suitor of his
daughter on one condition: that he should allow him to extract
his teeth, and cut off his claws, as his daughter was fearfully
afraid of both. The Lion cheerfully assented to the proposal.
But when the toothless, clawless Lion returned to repeat his
request, the Woodman, no longer afraid, set upon him with his
club, and drove him away into the forest.


The Laborer and the Snake

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