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Aesop's Fables   


The Monkey and the Fishermen

A MONKEY perched upon a lofty tree saw some Fishermen casting
their nets into a river, and narrowly watched their proceedings.
The Fishermen after a while gave up fishing, and on going home to
dinner left their nets upon the bank. The Monkey, who is the
most imitative of animals, descended from the treetop and
endeavored to do as they had done. Having handled the net, he
threw it into the river, but became tangled in the meshes and
drowned. With his last breath he said to himself, "I am rightly
served; for what business had I who had never handled a net to
try and catch fish?'


The Flea and the Wrestler

A FLEA settled upon the bare foot of a Wrestler and bit him,
causing the man to call loudly upon Hercules for help. When the
Flea a second time hopped upon his foot, he groaned and said, "O
Hercules! if you will not help me against a Flea, how can I hope
for your assistance against greater antagonists?'


The Two Frogs

TWO FROGS dwelt in the same pool. When the pool dried up under
the summer's heat, they left it and set out together for another
home. As they went along they chanced to pass a deep well, amply
supplied with water, and when they saw it, one of the Frogs said
to the other, "Let us descend and make our abode in this well: it
will furnish us with shelter and food." The other replied with
greater caution, "But suppose the water should fail us. How can
we get out again from so great a depth?'

Do nothing without a regard to the consequences.


The Cat and the Mice

A CERTAIN HOUSE was overrun with Mice. A Cat, discovering this,
made her way into it and began to catch and eat them one by one.
Fearing for their lives, the Mice kept themselves close in their
holes. The Cat was no longer able to get at them and perceived
that she must tempt them forth by some device. For this purpose
she jumped upon a peg, and suspending herself from it, pretended
to be dead. One of the Mice, peeping stealthily out, saw her and
said, "Ah, my good madam, even though you should turn into a
meal-bag, we will not come near you."


The Lion, the Bear, and the Fox

A LION and a Bear seized a Kid at the same moment, and fought
fiercely for its possession. When they had fearfully lacerated
each other and were faint from the long combat, they lay down
exhausted with fatigue. A Fox, who had gone round them at a
distance several times, saw them both stretched on the ground
with the Kid lying untouched in the middle. He ran in between
them, and seizing the Kid scampered off as fast as he could. The
Lion and the Bear saw him, but not being able to get up, said,
"Woe be to us, that we should have fought and belabored ourselves
only to serve the turn of a Fox."

It sometimes happens that one man has all the toil, and another

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