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Aesop's Fables   



A CERTAIN rich man bought in the market a Goose and a Swan. He
fed the one for his table and kept the other for the sake of its
song. When the time came for killing the Goose, the cook went to
get him at night, when it was dark, and he was not able to
distinguish one bird from the other. By mistake he caught the
Swan instead of the Goose. The Swan, threatened with death,
burst forth into song and thus made himself known by his voice,
and preserved his life by his melody.


The Swollen Fox

A VERY HUNGRY FOX, seeing some bread and meat left by shepherds
in the hollow of an oak, crept into the hole and made a hearty
meal. When he finished, he was so full that he was not able to
get out, and began to groan and lament his fate. Another Fox
passing by heard his cries, and coming up, inquired the cause of
his complaining. On learning what had happened, he said to him,
"Ah, you will have to remain there, my friend, until you become
such as you were when you crept in, and then you will easily get
out."


The Fox and the Woodcutter

A FOX, running before the hounds, came across a Woodcutter
felling an oak and begged him to show him a safe hiding-place.
The Woodcutter advised him to take shelter in his own hut, so the
Fox crept in and hid himself in a corner. The huntsman soon came
up with his hounds and inquired of the Woodcutter if he had seen
the Fox. He declared that he had not seen him, and yet pointed,
all the time he was speaking, to the hut where the Fox lay
hidden. The huntsman took no notice of the signs, but believing
his word, hastened forward in the chase. As soon as they were
well away, the Fox departed without taking any notice of the
Woodcutter: whereon he called to him and reproached him, saying,
"You ungrateful fellow, you owe your life to me, and yet you
leave me without a word of thanks." The Fox replied, "Indeed, I
should have thanked you fervently if your deeds had been as good
as your words, and if your hands had not been traitors to your
speech."


The Birdcatcher, the Partridge, and the Cock

A BIRDCATCHER was about to sit down to a dinner of herbs when a
friend unexpectedly came in. The bird-trap was quite empty, as
he had caught nothing, and he had to kill a pied Partridge, which
he had tamed for a decoy. The bird entreated earnestly for his
life: "What would you do without me when next you spread your
nets? Who would chirp you to sleep, or call for you the covey of
answering birds?' The Birdcatcher spared his life, and determined
to pick out a fine young Cock just attaining to his comb. But
the Cock expostulated in piteous tones from his perch: "If you
kill me, who will announce to you the appearance of the dawn?
Who will wake you to your daily tasks or tell you when it is time
to visit the bird-trap in the morning?' He replied, "What you say
is true. You are a capital bird at telling the time of day. But
my friend and I must have our dinners."

Necessity knows no law.

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