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Aesop's Fables   



A STAG asked a Sheep to lend him a measure of wheat, and said
that the Wolf would be his surety. The Sheep, fearing some fraud
was intended, excused herself, saying, "The Wolf is accustomed to
seize what he wants and to run off; and you, too, can quickly
outstrip me in your rapid flight. How then shall I be able to
find you, when the day of payment comes?'

Two blacks do not make one white.


The Peacock and the Crane

A PEACOCK spreading its gorgeous tail mocked a Crane that passed
by, ridiculing the ashen hue of its plumage and saying, "I am
robed, like a king, in gold and purple and all the colors of the
rainbow; while you have not a bit of color on your wings."
"True," replied the Crane; "but I soar to the heights of heaven
and lift up my voice to the stars, while you walk below, like a
cock, among the birds of the dunghill."

Fine feathers don't make fine birds.


The Fox and the Hedgehog

A FOX swimming across a rapid river was carried by the force of
the current into a very deep ravine, where he lay for a long time
very much bruised, sick, and unable to move. A swarm of hungry
blood-sucking flies settled upon him. A Hedgehog, passing by,
saw his anguish and inquired if he should drive away the flies
that were tormenting him. "By no means," replied the Fox; "pray
do not molest them." "How is this?' said the Hedgehog; "do you
not want to be rid of them?' "No," returned the Fox, "for these
flies which you see are full of blood, and sting me but little,
and if you rid me of these which are already satiated, others
more hungry will come in their place, and will drink up all the
blood I have left."


The Eagle, the Cat, and the Wild Sow

AN EAGLE made her nest at the top of a lofty oak; a Cat, having
found a convenient hole, moved into the middle of the trunk; and
a Wild Sow, with her young, took shelter in a hollow at its foot.
The Cat cunningly resolved to destroy this chance-made colony.
To carry out her design, she climbed to the nest of the Eagle,
and said, "Destruction is preparing for you, and for me too,
unfortunately. The Wild Sow, whom you see daily digging up the
earth, wishes to uproot the oak, so she may on its fall seize our
families as food for her young." Having thus frightened the Eagle
out of her senses, she crept down to the cave of the Sow, and
said, "Your children are in great danger; for as soon as you go
out with your litter to find food, the Eagle is prepared to
pounce upon one of your little pigs." Having instilled these
fears into the Sow, she went and pretended to hide herself in the
hollow of the tree. When night came she went forth with silent
foot and obtained food for herself and her kittens, but feigning
to be afraid, she kept a lookout all through the day. Meanwhile,
the Eagle, full of fear of the Sow, sat still on the branches,
and the Sow, terrified by the Eagle, did not dare to go out from
her cave. And thus they both, along with their families,
perished from hunger, and afforded ample provision for the Cat
and her kittens.

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