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Aesop's Fables   


man hearing this, quickly made his son mount the Ass, and
continued to walk along merrily by his side. Presently they came
up to a group of old men in earnest debate. "There," said one of
them, "it proves what I was a-saying. What respect is shown to
old age in these days? Do you see that idle lad riding while his
old father has to walk? Get down, you young scapegrace, and let
the old man rest his weary limbs." Upon this the old man made his
son dismount, and got up himself. In this manner they had not
proceeded far when they met a company of women and children:
"Why, you lazy old fellow," cried several tongues at once, "how
can you ride upon the beast, while that poor little lad there can
hardly keep pace by the side of you?' The good-natured Miller
immediately took up his son behind him. They had now almost
reached the town. "Pray, honest friend," said a citizen, "is
that Ass your own?' "Yes," replied the old man. "O, one would
not have thought so," said the other, "by the way you load him.
Why, you two fellows are better able to carry the poor beast than
he you." "Anything to please you," said the old man; "we can but
try." So, alighting with his son, they tied the legs of the Ass
together and with the help of a pole endeavored to carry him on
their shoulders over a bridge near the entrance to the town.
This entertaining sight brought the people in crowds to laugh at
it, till the Ass, not liking the noise nor the strange handling
that he was subject to, broke the cords that bound him and,
tumbling off the pole, fell into the river. Upon this, the old
man, vexed and ashamed, made the best of his way home again,
convinced that by endeavoring to please everybody he had pleased
nobody, and lost his Ass in the bargain.

The Crow and the Sheep

A TROUBLESOME CROW seated herself on the back of a Sheep. The
Sheep, much against his will, carried her backward and forward
for a long time, and at last said, "If you had treated a dog in
this way, you would have had your deserts from his sharp teeth."
To this the Crow replied, "I despise the weak and yield to the
strong. I know whom I may bully and whom I must flatter; and I
thus prolong my life to a good old age."

The Fox and the Bramble

A FOX was mounting a hedge when he lost his footing and caught
hold of a Bramble to save himself. Having pricked and grievously
tom the soles of his feet, he accused the Bramble because, when
he had fled to her for assistance, she had used him worse than
the hedge itself. The Bramble, interrupting him, said, "But you
really must have been out of your senses to fasten yourself on
me, who am myself always accustomed to fasten upon others."

The Wolf and the Lion

A WOLF, having stolen a lamb from a fold, was carrying him off to
his lair. A Lion met him in the path, and seizing the lamb, took
it from him. Standing at a safe distance, the Wolf exclaimed,
"You have unrighteously taken that which was mine from me!" To
which the Lion jeeringly replied, "It was righteously yours, eh?
The gift of a friend?'

The Dog and the Oyster

A DOG, used to eating eggs, saw an Oyster and, opening his mouth
to its widest extent, swallowed it down with the utmost relish,
supposing it to be an egg. Soon afterwards suffering great pain
in his stomach, he said, "I deserve all this torment, for my

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