on the land, when by my nature and habits I am only adapted for
Contentment with our lot is an element of happiness.
The Woman and Her Hen
A WOMAN possessed a Hen that gave her an egg every day. She
often pondered how she might obtain two eggs daily instead of
one, and at last, to gain her purpose, determined to give the Hen
a double allowance of barley. From that day the Hen became fat
and sleek, and never once laid another egg.
The Ass and the Old Shepherd
A SHEPHERD, watching his Ass feeding in a meadow, was alarmed all
of a sudden by the cries of the enemy. He appealed to the Ass to
fly with him, lest they should both be captured, but the animal
lazily replied, "Why should I, pray? Do you think it likely the
conqueror will place on me two sets of panniers?' "No," rejoined
the Shepherd. "Then," said the Ass, "as long as I carry the
panniers, what matters it to me whom I serve?'
In a change of government the poor change nothing beyond the name
of their master.
The Kites and the Swans
TEE KITES of olden times, as well as the Swans, had the privilege
of song. But having heard the neigh of the horse, they were so
enchanted with the sound, that they tried to imitate it; and, in
trying to neigh, they forgot how to sing.
The desire for imaginary benefits often involves the loss of
The Wolves and the Sheepdogs
THE WOLVES thus addressed the Sheepdogs: "Why should you, who are
like us in so many things, not be entirely of one mind with us,
and live with us as brothers should? We differ from you in one
point only. We live in freedom, but you bow down to and slave
for men, who in return for your services flog you with whips and
put collars on your necks. They make you also guard their sheep,
and while they eat the mutton throw only the bones to you. If
you will be persuaded by us, you will give us the sheep, and we
will enjoy them in common, till we all are surfeited." The Dogs
listened favorably to these proposals, and, entering the den of
the Wolves, they were set upon and torn to pieces.
The Hares and the Foxes
THE HARES waged war with the Eagles, and called upon the Foxes to
help them. They replied, "We would willingly have helped you, if
we had not known who you were, and with whom you were fighting."
Count the cost before you commit yourselves.