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Aesop's Fables   


ACCORDING to an ancient legend, the first man was made by
Jupiter, the first bull by Neptune, and the first house by
Minerva. On the completion of their labors, a dispute arose as
to which had made the most perfect work. They agreed to appoint
Momus as judge, and to abide by his decision. Momus, however,
being very envious of the handicraft of each, found fault with
all. He first blamed the work of Neptune because he had not made
the horns of the bull below his eyes, so he might better see
where to strike. He then condemned the work of Jupiter, because
he had not placed the heart of man on the outside, that everyone
might read the thoughts of the evil disposed and take precautions
against the intended mischief. And, lastly, he inveighed against
Minerva because she had not contrived iron wheels in the
foundation of her house, so its inhabitants might more easily
remove if a neighbor proved unpleasant. Jupiter, indignant at
such inveterate faultfinding, drove him from his office of judge,
and expelled him from the mansions of Olympus.


The Eagle and the Fox

AN EAGLE and a Fox formed an intimate friendship and decided to
live near each other. The Eagle built her nest in the branches
of a tall tree, while the Fox crept into the underwood and there
produced her young. Not long after they had agreed upon this
plan, the Eagle, being in want of provision for her young ones,
swooped down while the Fox was out, seized upon one of the little
cubs, and feasted herself and her brood. The Fox on her return,
discovered what had happened, but was less grieved for the death
of her young than for her inability to avenge them. A just
retribution, however, quickly fell upon the Eagle. While
hovering near an altar, on which some villagers were sacrificing
a goat, she suddenly seized a piece of the flesh, and carried it,
along with a burning cinder, to her nest. A strong breeze soon
fanned the spark into a flame, and the eaglets, as yet unfledged
and helpless, were roasted in their nest and dropped down dead at
the bottom of the tree. There, in the sight of the Eagle, the
Fox gobbled them up.


The Man and the Satyr

A MAN and a Satyr once drank together in token of a bond of
alliance being formed between them. One very cold wintry day, as
they talked, the Man put his fingers to his mouth and blew on
them. When the Satyr asked the reason for this, he told him that
he did it to warm his hands because they were so cold. Later on
in the day they sat down to eat, and the food prepared was quite
scalding. The Man raised one of the dishes a little towards his
mouth and blew in it. When the Satyr again inquired the reason,
he said that he did it to cool the meat, which was too hot. "I
can no longer consider you as a friend," said the Satyr, "a
fellow who with the same breath blows hot and cold."


The Ass and His Purchaser

A MAN wished to purchase an Ass, and agreed with its owner that
he should try out the animal before he bought him. He took the
Ass home and put him in the straw-yard with his other Asses, upon
which the new animal left all the others and at once joined the
one that was most idle and the greatest eater of them all.
Seeing this, the man put a halter on him and led him back to his
owner. On being asked how, in so short a time, he could have

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