a single small Fish as the result of his day's labor. The Fish,
panting convulsively, thus entreated for his life: "O Sir, what
good can I be to you, and how little am I worth? I am not yet
come to my full size. Pray spare my life, and put me back into
the sea. I shall soon become a large fish fit for the tables of
the rich, and then you can catch me again, and make a handsome
profit of me." The Fisherman replied, "I should indeed be a very
simple fellow if, for the chance of a greater uncertain profit, I
were to forego my present certain gain."
The Hunter and the Woodman
A HUNTER, not very bold, was searching for the tracks of a Lion.
He asked a man felling oaks in the forest if he had seen any
marks of his footsteps or knew where his lair was. "I will,"
said the man, "at once show you the Lion himself." The Hunter,
turning very pale and chattering with his teeth from fear,
replied, "No, thank you. I did not ask that; it is his track
only I am in search of, not the Lion himself."
The hero is brave in deeds as well as words.
The Wild Boar and the Fox
A WILD BOAR stood under a tree and rubbed his tusks against the
trunk. A Fox passing by asked him why he thus sharpened his
teeth when there was no danger threatening from either huntsman
or hound. He replied, "I do it advisedly; for it would never do
to have to sharpen my weapons just at the time I ought to be
The Lion in a Farmyard
A LION entered a farmyard. The Farmer, wishing to catch him,
shut the gate. When the Lion found that he could not escape, he
flew upon the sheep and killed them, and then attacked the oxen.
The Farmer, beginning to be alarmed for his own safety, opened
the gate and released the Lion. On his departure the Farmer
grievously lamented the destruction of his sheep and oxen, but
his wife, who had been a spectator to all that took place, said,
"On my word, you are rightly served, for how could you for a
moment think of shutting up a Lion along with you in your
farmyard when you know that you shake in your shoes if you only
hear his roar at a distance?'
Mercury and the Sculptor
MERCURY ONCE DETERMINED to learn in what esteem he was held among
mortals. For this purpose he assumed the character of a man and
visited in this disguise a Sculptor's studio having looked at
various statues, he demanded the price of two figures of Jupiter
and Juno. When the sum at which they were valued was named, he
pointed to a figure of himself, saying to the Sculptor, "You will
certainly want much more for this, as it is the statue of the
Messenger of the Gods, and author of all your gain." The
Sculptor replied, "Well, if you will buy these, I'll fling you
that into the bargain."
The Swan and the Goose