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Aesop's Fables   


nestlings. The Swallow, finding her nest empty, lamented greatly
and exclaimed: "Woe to me a stranger! that in this place where
all others' rights are protected, I alone should suffer wrong."


The Thief and His Mother

A BOY stole a lesson-book from one of his schoolfellows and took
it home to his Mother. She not only abstained from beating him,
but encouraged him. He next time stole a cloak and brought it to
her, and she again commended him. The Youth, advanced to
adulthood, proceeded to steal things of still greater value. At
last he was caught in the very act, and having his hands bound
behind him, was led away to the place of public execution. His
Mother followed in the crowd and violently beat her breast in
sorrow, whereupon the young man said, "I wish to say something to
my Mother in her ear." She came close to him, and he quickly
seized her ear with his teeth and bit it off. The Mother
upbraided him as an unnatural child, whereon he replied, "Ah! if
you had beaten me when I first stole and brought to you that
lesson-book, I should not have come to this, nor have been thus
led to a disgraceful death."


The Old Man and Death

AN OLD MAN was employed in cutting wood in the forest, and, in
carrying the faggots to the city for sale one day, became 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 hurriedly replied, "That,
lifting up the load, you may place it again upon my shoulders."


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 answered: '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 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. 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. 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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