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Aesop's Fables   


The King's Son and the Painted Lion

A KING, whose only son was fond of martial exercises, had a dream
in which he was warned that his son would be killed by a lion.
Afraid the dream should prove true, he built for his son a
pleasant palace and adorned its walls for his amusement with all
kinds of life-sized animals, among which was the picture of a
lion. When the young Prince saw this, his grief at being thus
confined burst out afresh, and, standing near the lion, he said:
"O you most detestable of animals! through a lying dream of my
father's, which he saw in his sleep, I am shut up on your account
in this palace as if I had been a girl: what shall I now do to
you?' With these words he stretched out his hands toward a
thorn-tree, meaning to cut a stick from its branches so that he
might beat the lion. But one of the tree's prickles pierced his
finger and caused great pain and inflammation, so that the young
Prince fell down in a fainting fit. A violent fever suddenly set
in, from which he died not many days later.

We had better bear our troubles bravely than try to escape them.


The Cat and Venus

A CAT fell in love with a handsome young man, and entreated Venus
to change her into the form of a woman. Venus consented to her
request and transformed her into a beautiful damsel, so that the
youth saw her and loved her, and took her home as his bride.
While the two were reclining in their chamber, Venus wishing to
discover if the Cat in her change of shape had also altered her
habits of life, let down a mouse in the middle of the room. The
Cat, quite forgetting her present condition, started up from the
couch and pursued the mouse, wishing to eat it. Venus was much
disappointed and again caused her to return to her former shape.

Nature exceeds nurture.


The She-Goats and Their Beards

THE SHE-GOATS having obtained a beard by request to Jupiter, the
He-Goats were sorely displeased and made complaint that the
females equaled them in dignity. "Allow them," said Jupiter, "to
enjoy an empty honor and to assume the badge of your nobler sex,
so long as they are not your equals in strength or courage."

It matters little if those who are inferior to us in merit should
be like us in outside appearances.

The Camel and the Arab

AN ARAB CAMEL-DRIVER, after completing the loading of his Camel,
asked him which he would like best, to go up hill or down. The
poor beast replied, not without a touch of reason: "Why do you
ask me? Is it that the level way through the desert is closed?"


The Miller, His Son, and Their Ass

A MILLER and his son were driving their Ass to a neighboring fair
to sell him. They had not gone far when they met with a troop of
women collected round a well, talking and laughing. "Look
there," cried one of them, "did you ever see such fellows, to be
trudging along the road on foot when they might ride?' The old

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