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Aesop's Fables   


man is no longer content to scare us, but begins to show us in
earnest what he can do."

If words suffice not, blows must follow.


The Dog in the Manger

A DOG lay in a manger, and by his growling and snapping prevented
the oxen from eating the hay which had been placed for them.
"What a selfish Dog!" said one of them to his companions; "he
cannot eat the hay himself, and yet refuses to allow those to eat
who can."


The Fox and the Goat

A FOX one day fell into a deep well and could find no means of
escape. A Goat, overcome with thirst, came to the same well, and
seeing the Fox, inquired if the water was good. Concealing his
sad plight under a merry guise, the Fox indulged in a lavish
praise of the water, saying it was excellent beyond measure, and
encouraging him to descend. The Goat, mindful only of his
thirst, thoughtlessly jumped down, but just as he drank, the Fox
informed him of the difficulty they were both in and suggested a
scheme for their common escape. "If," said he, "you will place
your forefeet upon the wall and bend your head, I will run up
your back and escape, and will help you out afterwards." The Goat
readily assented and the Fox leaped upon his back. Steadying
himself with the Goat's horns, he safely reached the mouth of the
well and made off as fast as he could. When the Goat upbraided
him for breaking his promise, he turned around and cried out,
"You foolish old fellow! If you had as many brains in your head
as you have hairs in your beard, you would never have gone down
before you had inspected the way up, nor have exposed yourself to
dangers from which you had no means of escape."

Look before you leap.


The Bear and the Two Travelers

TWO MEN were traveling together, when a Bear suddenly met them on
their path. One of them climbed up quickly into a tree and
concealed himself in the branches. The other, seeing that he
must be attacked, fell flat on the ground, and when the Bear came
up and felt him with his snout, and smelt him all over, he held
his breath, and feigned the appearance of death as much as he
could. The Bear soon left him, for it is said he will not touch
a dead body. When he was quite gone, the other Traveler
descended from the tree, and jocularly inquired of his friend
what it was the Bear had whispered in his ear. "He gave me this
advice," his companion replied. "Never travel with a friend who
deserts you at the approach of danger."

Misfortune tests the sincerity of friends.


The Oxen and the Axle-Trees

A HEAVY WAGON was being dragged along a country lane by a team of
Oxen. The Axle-trees groaned and creaked terribly; whereupon the
Oxen, turning round, thus addressed the wheels: "Hullo there! why
do you make so much noise? We bear all the labor, and we, not

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