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Aesop's Fables   


in his den. A Mouse ran over his mane and ears and woke him from
his slumbers. He rose up and shook himself in great wrath, and
searched every corner of his den to find the Mouse. A Fox seeing
him said: "A fine Lion you are, to be frightened of a Mouse."
"'Tis not the Mouse I fear," said the Lion; "I resent his
familiarity and ill-breeding."

Little liberties are great offenses.


The Vain Jackdaw

JUPITER DETERMINED, it is said, to create a sovereign over the
birds, and made proclamation that on a certain day they should
all present themselves before him, when he would himself choose
the most beautiful among them to be king. The Jackdaw, knowing
his own ugliness, searched through the woods and fields, and
collected the feathers which had fallen from the wings of his
companions, and stuck them in all parts of his body, hoping
thereby to make himself the most beautiful of all. When the
appointed day arrived, and the birds had assembled before
Jupiter, the Jackdaw also made his appearance in his many
feathered finery. But when Jupiter proposed to make him king
because of the beauty of his plumage, the birds indignantly
protested, and each plucked from him his own feathers, leaving
the Jackdaw nothing but a Jackdaw.


The Goatherd and the Wild Goats

A GOATHERD, driving his flock from their pasture at eventide,
found some Wild Goats mingled among them, and shut them up
together with his own for the night. The next day it snowed very
hard, so that he could not take the herd to their usual feeding
places, but was obliged to keep them in the fold. He gave his
own goats just sufficient food to keep them alive, but fed the
strangers more abundantly in the hope of enticing them to stay
with him and of making them his own. When the thaw set in, he
led them all out to feed, and the Wild Goats scampered away as
fast as they could to the mountains. The Goatherd scolded them
for their ingratitude in leaving him, when during the storm he
had taken more care of them than of his own herd. One of them,
turning about, said to him: "That is the very reason why we are
so cautious; for if you yesterday treated us better than the
Goats you have had so long, it is plain also that if others came
after us, you would in the same manner prefer them to ourselves."


Old friends cannot with impunity be sacrificed for new ones.


The Mischievous Dog

A DOG used to run up quietly to the heels of everyone he met, and
to bite them without notice. His master suspended a bell about
his neck so that the Dog might give notice of his presence
wherever he went. Thinking it a mark of distinction, the Dog
grew proud of his bell and went tinkling it all over the
marketplace. One day an old hound said to him: Why do you make
such an exhibition of yourself? That bell that you carry is not,
believe me, any order of merit, but on the contrary a mark of
disgrace, a public notice to all men to avoid you as an ill
mannered dog."

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