the Cat. Among the many plans suggested, the one that found most
favor was the proposal to tie a bell to the neck of the Cat, so
that the Mice, being warned by the sound of the tinkling, 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 Wolf and the Housedog
A WOLF, meeting a big well-fed Mastiff with a wooden collar about
his neck asked him who it was that fed him so well and yet
compelled him to drag that heavy log about wherever he went.
"The master," he replied. Then said the Wolf: "May no friend of
mine ever be in such a plight; for the weight of this chain is
enough to spoil the appetite."
The Rivers and the Sea
THE RIVERS joined together to complain to the Sea, saying, "Why
is it that when we flow into your tides so potable and sweet, you
work in us such a change, and make us salty and unfit to drink?"
The Sea, perceiving that they intended to throw the blame on him,
said, "Pray cease to flow into me, and then you will not be made
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."
The Three Tradesmen
A GREAT CITY was besieged, and its inhabitants were called
together to consider the best means of protecting it from the
enemy. A Bricklayer earnestly recommended bricks as affording
the best material for an effective resistance. A Carpenter, with
equal enthusiasm, proposed timber as a preferable method of
defense. Upon which a Currier stood up and said, "Sirs, I differ
from you altogether: there is no material for resistance equal to
a covering of hides; and nothing so good as leather."
Every man for himself.
The Master and His Dogs
A CERTAIN MAN, detained by a storm in his country house, first of
all killed his sheep, and then his goats, for the maintenance of
his household. The storm still continuing, he was obliged to
slaughter his yoke oxen for food. On seeing this, his Dogs took
counsel together, and said, "It is time for us to be off, for if
the master spare not his oxen, who work for his gain, how can we
expect him to spare us?'
He is not to be trusted as a friend who mistreats his own family.