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Aesop's Fables   


powerful than you; and if you doubt it, let us fight and see who
will conquer." The Gnat, having sounded his horn, fastened
himself upon the Lion and stung him on the nostrils and the parts
of the face devoid of hair. While trying to crush him, the Lion
tore himself with his claws, until he punished himself severely.
The Gnat thus prevailed over the Lion, and, buzzing about in a
song of triumph, flew away. But shortly afterwards he became
entangled in the meshes of a cobweb and was eaten by a spider.
He greatly lamented his fate, saying, "Woe is me! that I, who can
wage war successfully with the hugest beasts, should perish
myself from this spider, the most inconsiderable of insects!"


The Monkey and the Dolphin

A SAILOR, bound on a long voyage, took with him a Monkey to amuse
him while on shipboard. As he sailed off the coast of Greece, a
violent tempest arose in which the ship was wrecked and he, his
Monkey, and all the crew were obliged to swim for their lives. A
Dolphin saw the Monkey contending with the waves, and supposing
him to be a man (whom he is always said to befriend), came and
placed himself under him, to convey him on his back in safety to
the shore. When the Dolphin arrived with his burden in sight of
land not far from Athens, he asked the Monkey if he were an
Athenian. The latter replied that he was, and that he was
descended from one of the most noble families in that city. The
Dolphin then inquired if he knew the Piraeus (the famous harbor
of Athens). Supposing that a man was meant, the Monkey answered
that he knew him very well and that he was an intimate friend.
The Dolphin, indignant at these falsehoods, dipped the Monkey
under the water and drowned him.


The Jackdaw and the Doves

A JACKDAW, seeing some Doves in a cote abundantly provided with
food, painted himself white and joined them in order to share
their plentiful maintenance. The Doves, as long as he was
silent, supposed him to be one of themselves and admitted him to
their cote. But when one day he forgot himself and began to
chatter, they discovered his true character and drove him forth,
pecking him with their beaks. Failing to obtain food among the
Doves, he returned to the Jackdaws. They too, not recognizing
him on account of his color. expelled him from living with them.
So desiring two ends, he obtained neither.


The Horse and the Stag

AT ONE TIME the Horse had the plain entirely to himself. Then a
Stag intruded into his domain and shared his pasture. The Horse,
desiring to revenge himself on the stranger, asked a man if he
were willing to help him in punishing the Stag. The man replied
that if the Horse would receive a bit in his mouth and agree to
carry him, he would contrive effective weapons against the Stag.
The Horse consented and allowed the man to mount him. From that
hour he found that instead of obtaining revenge on the Stag, he
had enslaved himself to the service of man.


The Kid and the Wolf

A KID, returning without protection from the pasture, was pursued
by a Wolf. Seeing he could not escape, he turned round, and

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