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Aesop's Fables   



Misfortunes springing from ourselves are the hardest to bear.


The Hen and the Golden Eggs

A COTTAGER and his wife had a Hen that laid a golden egg every
day. They supposed that the Hen must contain a great lump of
gold in its inside, and in order to get the gold they killed it.
Having done so, they found to their surprise that the Hen
differed in no respect from their other hens. The foolish pair,
thus hoping to become rich all at once, deprived themselves of
the gain of which they were assured day by day.


The Ass and the Frogs

AN ASS, carrying a load of wood, passed through a pond. As he
was crossing through the water he lost his footing, stumbled and
fell, and not being able to rise on account of his load, groaned
heavily. Some Frogs frequenting the pool heard his lamentation,
and said, "What would you do if you had to live here always as we
do, when you make such a fuss about a mere fall into the water?"


Men often bear little grievances with less courage than they do
large misfortunes.


The Crow and the Raven

A CROW was jealous of the Raven, because he was considered a bird
of good omen and always attracted the attention of men, who noted
by his flight the good or evil course of future events. Seeing
some travelers approaching, the Crow flew up into a tree, and
perching herself on one of the branches, cawed as loudly as she
could. The travelers turned towards the sound and wondered what
it foreboded, when one of them said to his companion, "Let us
proceed on our journey, my friend, for it is only the caw of a
crow, and her cry, you know, is no omen."

Those who assume a character which does not belong to them, only
make themselves ridiculous.


The Trees and the Axe

A MAN came into a forest and asked the Trees to provide him a
handle for his axe. The Trees consented to his request and gave
him a young ash-tree. No sooner had the man fitted a new handle
to his axe from it, than he began to use it and quickly felled
with his strokes the noblest giants of the forest. An old oak,
lamenting when too late the destruction of his companions, said
to a neighboring cedar, "The first step has lost us all. If we
had not given up the rights of the ash, we might yet have
retained our own privileges and have stood for ages."


The Crab and the Fox

A CRAB, forsaking the seashore, chose a neighboring green meadow
as its feeding ground. A Fox came across him, and being very
hungry ate him up. Just as he was on the point of being eaten,
the Crab said, "I well deserve my fate, for what business had I

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