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Aesop's Fables   


care that his sickness should be publicly known. The beasts
expressed their sorrow, and came one by one to his den, where the
Lion devoured them. After many of the beasts had thus
disappeared, the Fox discovered the trick and presenting himself
to the Lion, stood on the outside of the cave, at a respectful
distance, and asked him how he was. "I am very middling,"
replied the Lion, "but why do you stand without? Pray enter
within to talk with me." "No, thank you," said the Fox. "I
notice that there are many prints of feet entering your cave, but
I see no trace of any returning."

He is wise who is warned by the misfortunes of others.


The Horse and Groom

A GROOM used to spend whole days in currycombing and rubbing down
his Horse, but at the same time stole his oats and sold them for
his own profit. "Alas!" said the Horse, "if you really wish me
to be in good condition, you should groom me less, and feed me
more."


The Ass and the Lapdog

A MAN had an Ass, and a Maltese Lapdog, a very great beauty. The
Ass was left in a stable and had plenty of oats and hay to eat,
just as any other Ass would. The Lapdog knew many tricks and was
a great favorite with his master, who often fondled him and
seldom went out to dine without bringing him home some tidbit to
eat. The Ass, on the contrary, had much work to do in grinding
the corn-mill and in carrying wood from the forest or burdens
from the farm. He often lamented his own hard fate and
contrasted it with the luxury and idleness of the Lapdog, till at
last one day he broke his cords and halter, and galloped into his
master's house, kicking up his heels without measure, and
frisking and fawning as well as he could. He next tried to jump
about his master as he had seen the Lapdog do, but he broke the
table and smashed all the dishes upon it to atoms. He then
attempted to lick his master, and jumped upon his back. The
servants, hearing the strange hubbub and perceiving the danger of
their master, quickly relieved him, and drove out the Ass to his
stable with kicks and clubs and cuffs. The Ass, as he returned
to his stall beaten nearly to death, thus lamented: "I have
brought it all on myself! Why could I not have been contented to
labor with my companions, and not wish to be idle all the day
like that useless little Lapdog!"


The Lioness

A CONTROVERSY prevailed among the beasts of the field as to which
of the animals deserved the most credit for producing the
greatest number of whelps at a birth. They rushed clamorously
into the presence of the Lioness and demanded of her the
settlement of the dispute. "And you," they said, "how many sons
have you at a birth?' The Lioness laughed at them, and said:
"Why! I have only one; but that one is altogether a thoroughbred
Lion."

The value is in the worth, not in the number.


The Boasting Traveler

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