The Fisherman Piping
A FISHERMAN skilled in music took his flute and his nets to the
seashore. Standing on a projecting rock, he played several tunes
in the hope that the fish, attracted by his melody, would of
their own accord dance into his net, which he had placed below.
At last, having long waited in vain, he laid aside his flute, and
casting his net into the sea, made an excellent haul of fish.
When he saw them leaping about in the net upon the rock he said:
"O you most perverse creatures, when I piped you would not dance,
but now that I have ceased you do so merrily."
Hercules and the Wagoner
A CARTER was driving a wagon along a country lane, when the
wheels sank down deep into a rut. The rustic driver, stupefied
and aghast, stood looking at the wagon, and did nothing but utter
loud cries to Hercules to come and help him. Hercules, it is
said, appeared and thus addressed him: "Put your shoulders to the
wheels, my man. Goad on your bullocks, and never more pray to me
for help, until you have done your best to help yourself, or
depend upon it you will henceforth pray in vain."
Self-help is the best help.
The Ants and the Grasshopper
THE ANTS were spending a fine winter's day drying grain collected
in the summertime. A Grasshopper, perishing with famine, passed
by and earnestly begged for a little food. The Ants inquired of
him, "Why did you not treasure up food during the summer?' He
replied, "I had not leisure enough. I passed the days in
singing." They then said in derision: "If you were foolish enough
to sing all the summer, you must dance supperless to bed in the
The Traveler and His Dog
A TRAVELER about to set out on a journey saw his Dog stand at the
door stretching himself. He asked him sharply: "Why do you stand
there gaping? Everything is ready but you, so come with me
instantly." The Dog, wagging his tail, replied: "O, master! I am
quite ready; it is you for whom I am waiting."
The loiterer often blames delay on his more active friend.
The Dog and the Shadow
A DOG, crossing a bridge over a stream with a piece of flesh in
his mouth, saw his own shadow in the water and took it for that
of another Dog, with a piece of meat double his own in size. He
immediately let go of his own, and fiercely attacked the other
Dog to get his larger piece from him. He thus lost both: that
which he grasped at in the water, because it was a shadow; and
his own, because the stream swept it away.
The Mole and His Mother
A MOLE, a creature blind from birth, once said to his Mother: "I