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Aesop's Fables   


former owner, lest he should again hunt for you and deprive you a
second time of your wings."


The Bald Man and the Fly

A FLY bit the bare head of a Bald Man who, endeavoring to destroy
it, gave himself a heavy slap. Escaping, the Fly said mockingly,
"You who have wished to revenge, even with death, the Prick of a
tiny insect, see what you have done to yourself to add insult to
injury?' The Bald Man replied, "I can easily make peace with
myself, because I know there was no intention to hurt. But you,
an ill-favored and contemptible insect who delights in sucking
human blood, I wish that I could have killed you even if I had
incurred a heavier penalty."


The Olive-Tree and the Fig-Tree

THE OLIVE-TREE ridiculed the Fig-Tree because, while she was
green all the year round, the Fig-Tree changed its leaves with
the seasons. A shower of snow fell upon them, and, finding the
Olive full of foliage, it settled upon its branches and broke
them down with its weight, at once despoiling it of its beauty
and killing the tree. But finding the Fig-Tree denuded of
leaves, the snow fell through to the ground, and did not injure
it at all.


The Eagle and the Kite

AN EAGLE, overwhelmed with sorrow, sat upon the branches of a
tree in company with a Kite. "Why," said the Kite, "do I see you
with such a rueful look?' "I seek," she replied, "a mate suitable
for me, and am not able to find one." "Take me," returned the
Kite, "I am much stronger than you are." "Why, are you able to
secure the means of living by your plunder?' "Well, I have often
caught and carried away an ostrich in my talons." The Eagle,
persuaded by these words, accepted him as her mate. Shortly
after the nuptials, the Eagle said, "Fly off and bring me back
the ostrich you promised me." The Kite, soaring aloft into the
air, brought back the shabbiest possible mouse, stinking from the
length of time it had lain about the fields. "Is this," said the
Eagle, "the faithful fulfillment of your promise to me?' The Kite
replied, "That I might attain your royal hand, there is nothing
that I would not have promised, however much I knew that I must
fail in the performance."


The Ass and His Driver

AN ASS, being driven along a high road, suddenly started off and
bolted to the brink of a deep precipice. While he was in the act
of throwing himself over, his owner seized him by the tail,
endeavoring to pull him back. When the Ass persisted in his
effort, the man let him go and said, "Conquer, but conquer to
your cost."


The Thrush and the Fowler

A THRUSH was feeding on a myrtle-tree and did not move from it
because its berries were so delicious. A Fowler observed her
staying so long in one spot, and having well bird-limed his

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