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Aesop's Fables   


said: "I know, friend Wolf, that I must be your prey, but before
I die I would ask of you one favor you will play me a tune to
which I may dance." The Wolf complied, and while he was piping
and the Kid was dancing, some hounds hearing the sound ran up and
began chasing the Wolf. Turning to the Kid, he said, "It is just
what I deserve; for I, who am only a butcher, should not have
turned piper to please you."


The Prophet

A WIZARD, sitting in the marketplace, was telling the fortunes of
the passers-by when a person ran up in great haste, and
announced to him that the doors of his house had been broken open
and that all his goods were being stolen. He sighed heavily and
hastened away as fast as he could run. A neighbor saw him
running and said, "Oh! you fellow there! you say you can foretell
the fortunes of others; how is it you did not foresee your own?'


The Fox and the Monkey

A FOX and a Monkey were traveling together on the same road. As
they journeyed, they passed through a cemetery full of monuments.
"All these monuments which you see," said the Monkey, "are
in honor of my ancestors, who were in their day freedmen
and citizens of great renown." The Fox replied, "You have chosen
a most appropriate subject for your falsehoods, as I am sure none
of your ancestors will be able to contradict you."

A false tale often betrays itself.


The Thief and the Housedog

A THIEF came in the night to break into a house. He brought with
him several slices of meat in order to pacify the Housedog, so
that he would not alarm his master by barking. As the Thief
threw him the pieces of meat, the Dog said, "If you think to stop
my mouth, you will be greatly mistaken. This sudden kindness at
your hands will only make me more watchful, lest under these
unexpected favors to myself, you have some private ends to
accomplish for your own benefit, and for my master's injury."


The Man, the Horse, the Ox, and the Dog

A HORSE, Ox, and Dog, driven to great straits by the cold, sought
shelter and protection from Man. He received them kindly,
lighted a fire, and warmed them. He let the Horse make free with
his oats, gave the Ox an abundance of hay, and fed the Dog with
meat from his own table. Grateful for these favors, the animals
determined to repay him to the best of their ability. For this
purpose, they divided the term of his life between them, and each
endowed one portion of it with the qualities which chiefly
characterized himself. The Horse chose his earliest years and
gave them his own attributes: hence every man is in his youth
impetuous, headstrong, and obstinate in maintaining his own
opinion. The Ox took under his patronage the next term of life,
and therefore man in his middle age is fond of work, devoted to
labor, and resolute to amass wealth and to husband his resources.
The end of life was reserved for the Dog, wherefore the old man
is often snappish, irritable, hard to please, and selfish,
tolerant only of his own household, but averse to strangers and

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