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238 Works of Aesop

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A Shepherd, driving his Sheep to a wood, saw an oak of unusual size, full of acorns, and, spreading his cloak under the branches, he climbed up into the tree, and shook down the acorns. The sheep, eating the acorns, frayed and tore the cloak. The Shepherd coming down, and seeing what was done, said: […]

A man wished to purchase an Ass, and agreed with its owner that he should try him before he bought him. He took the Ass home, and put him in the straw-yard with his other Asses, upon which he left all the others, and joined himself at once to the most idle and the greatest […]

A Fisherman who lived on the produce of his nets, one day caught a single small fish as the result of his day’s labor. The fish, panting convulsively, thus entreated for his life: “O Sir, what good can I be to you, and how little am I worth! I am not yet come to my […]

The Dogs And The Hides

Story type: Literature

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Some Dogs, famished with hunger, saw some cow-hides steeping in a river. Not being able to reach them, they agreed to drink up the river; but it fell out that they burst themselves with drinking long before they reached the hides. Attempt not impossibilities.

The Eagle And The Kite

Story type: Literature

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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, “for a mate suitable for me, and am not able to find one.” “Take me,” returned the Kite; “I am much […]

A Wolf, meeting with a big, well-fed Mastiff, having a wooden collar about his neck, inquired of him who it was that fed him so well, and yet compelled him to drag that heavy log about wherever he went. “The master,” he replied. Then, said the Wolf: “May no friend of mine ever be in […]

The Fisherman Piping

Story type: Literature

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A Fisherman skilled in music took his flute and his nets to the sea-shore. Standing on a projecting rock he played several tunes, in the hope that the fish, attracted by his melody, would of their own accord dance into his net, which he had placed below. At last, having long waited in vain, he […]

A Rat, traveling on the highway, met a huge elephant, bearing his royal master and his suite, and also his favorite cat and dog, and parrot and monkey. The great beast and his attendants were followed by an admiring crowd, taking up all of the road. “What fools you are,” said the Rat to the […]

The beasts of the forest gave a splendid entertainment, at which the Monkey stood up and danced. Having vastly delighted the assembly, he sat down amidst universal applause. The Camel, envious of the praises bestowed on the Monkey, and desirous to divert to himself the favor of the guests, proposed to stand up in his […]

A Sea-gull, who was more at home swimming on the sea than walking on the land, was in the habit of catching live fish for its food. One day, having bolted down too large a fish, it burst its deep gullet-bag, and lay down on the shore to die. A Kite, seeing him, and thinking […]

The Seaside Travelers

Story type: Literature

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Some travelers, journeying along the sea-shore, climbed to the summit of a tall cliff, and from thence looking over the sea, saw in the distance what they thought was a large ship, and waited in the hope of seeing it enter the harbor. But as the object on which they looked was driven by the […]

The Trees And The Axe

Story type: Literature

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A Man came into a forest, and made a petition to the Trees to provide him a handle for his axe. The Trees consented to his request, and gave him a young ash-tree. No sooner had the man fitted from it a new handle to his axe, than he began to use it, and quickly […]

A King who had one only son, fond of martial exercises, had a dream in which he was warned that his son would be killed by a lion. Afraid lest the dream should prove true, he built for his son a pleasant palace, and adorned its walls for his amusement with all kinds of animals […]

Wolf And The Lion

Story type: Literature

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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. The Wolf, standing at a safe distance, exclaimed: “You have unrighteously taken from me that which was mine.” The Lion jeeringly replied: “It was […]

The Ass Eating Thistles

Story type: Literature

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An Ass was loaded with good provisions of several sorts, which, in time of harvest, he was carrying into the field for his master and the reapers to dine upon. By the way he met with a fine large Thistle, and, being very hungry, began to mumble it; and while he was doing so he […]

A Crow, perishing with thirst, saw a pitcher, and, hoping to find water, flew to it with great delight. When he reached it, he discovered to his grief that it contained so little water that he could not possibly get at it. He tried everything he could think of to reach the water, but all […]

The Old Hound

Story type: Literature

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A Hound, who in the days of his youth and strength had never yielded to any beast of the forest, encountered in his old age a boar in the chase. He seized him boldly by the ear, but could not retain his hold because of the decay of his teeth, so that the boar escaped. […]

The Horse And The Ass

Story type: Literature

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A Horse, proud of his fine trappings, met an Ass on the highway. The Ass being heavily laden moved slowly out of the way. “Hardly,” said the Horse, “can I resist kicking you with my heels.” The Ass held his peace, and made only a silent appeal to the justice of the gods. Not long […]

Lion And The Mouse

Story type: Literature

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A Lion was awakened from sleep by a Mouse running over his face. Rising up in anger, he caught him and was about to kill him, when the Mouse piteously entreated, saying: “If you would only spare my life, I would be sure to repay your kindness.” The Lion laughed and let him go. It […]

The Bull And The Goat

Story type: Literature

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A Bull, escaping from a Lion, entered a cave, which some shepherds had lately occupied. A He-goat was left in it, who sharply attacked him with his horns. The Bull quietly addressed him–“Butt away as much as you will. I have no fear of you, but of the Lion. Let that monster once go, and […]

A Charcoal-burner carried on his trade in his own house. One day he met a friend, a Fuller, and entreated him to come and live with him, saying that they should be far better neighbors, and that their housekeeping expenses would be lessened. The Fuller replied: “The arrangement is impossible as far as I am […]

The Birds waged war with the Beasts, and each party were by turns the conquerors. A Bat, fearing the uncertain issues of the fight, always betook himself to that side which was the strongest. When peace was proclaimed, his deceitful conduct was apparent to both the combatants; he was driven forth from the light of […]

The Ox And The Frog

Story type: Literature

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An Ox, drinking at a pool, trod on a brood of young frogs, and crushed one of them to death. The mother, coming up and missing one of her sons, inquired of his brothers what had become of him. “He is dead, dear mother; for just now a very huge beast with four great feet […]

The Man And The Lion

Story type: Literature

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A Man and a Lion traveled together through the forest. They soon began to boast of their respective superiority to each other in strength and prowess. As they were disputing, they passed a statue, carved in stone, which represented “A Lion strangled by a Man.” The traveler pointed to it and said: “See there! How […]

A Wolf followed a flock of sheep for a long time, and did not attempt to injure one of them. The Shepherd at first stood on his guard against him, as against an enemy, and kept a strict watch over his movements. But when the Wolf, day after day, kept in the company of the […]

The Crab And Its Mother

Story type: Literature

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A Crab said to her son: “Why do you walk so one-sided, my child? It is far more becoming to go straight forward.” The young Crab replied: “Quite true, dear mother; and if you will show me the straight way, I will promise to walk in it.” The mother tried in vain, and submitted without […]

Boys And The Frogs

Story type: Literature

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Some boys, playing near a pond, saw a number of Frogs in the water, and began to pelt them with stones. They killed several of them, when one of the Frogs, lifting his head out of the water, cried out: “Pray stop, my boys; what is sport to you is death to us.” What we […]

Two Game Cocks were fiercely fighting for the mastery of the farm-yard. One at last put the other to flight. The vanquished Cock skulked away and hid himself in a quiet corner. The conqueror, flying up to a high wall, flapped his wings and crowed exultingly with all his might. An Eagle sailing through the […]

The Camel And The Arab

Story type: Literature

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An Arab Camel-driver having completed the lading of his Camel, asked him which he would like best, to go up hill or down hill. 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 Mice In Council

Story type: Literature

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The Mice summoned a council to decide how they might best devise means for obtaining notice of the approach of their great enemy the Cat. Among the many plans devised, the one that found most favor was the proposal to tie a bell to the neck of the Cat, that the Mice, being warned by […]

A Lion, roaming by the sea-shore, saw a Dolphin lift up its head out of the waves, and asked him to contract an alliance with him; saying that of all the animals, they ought to be the best friends, since the one was the king of beasts on the earth, and the other was the […]

The Horse And The Stag

Story type: Literature

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The Horse had the plain entirely to himself. A Stag intruded into his domain and shared his pasture. The Horse, desiring to revenge himself on the stranger, requested a man, if he were willing, to help him in punishing the Stag. The man replied, that if the Horse would receive a bit in his mouth, […]

As an old man was planting a tree, three young men came along and began to make sport of him, saying: “It shows your foolishness to be planting a tree at your age. The tree cannot bear fruit for many years, while you must very soon die. What is the use of your wasting your […]

The Lion And The Fox

Story type: Literature

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A Fox entered into partnership with a Lion, on the pretense of becoming his servant. Each undertook his proper duty in accordance with his own nature and powers. The Fox discovered and pointed out the prey, the Lion sprang on it and seized it. The Fox soon became jealous of the Lion carrying off the […]

A Shepherd once found a young Wolf, and brought it up, and after a while taught it to steal lambs from the neighboring flocks. The Wolf, having shown himself an apt pupil, said to the Shepherd: “Since you have taught me to steal, you must keep a sharp look-out, or you will lose some of […]

The Dove And The Crow

Story type: Literature

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A Dove shut up in a cage was boasting of the large number of the young ones which she had hatched. A Crow, hearing her, said: “My good friend, cease from this unreasonable boasting. The larger the number of your family, the greater your cause of sorrow, in seeing them shut up in this prison-house.” […]

The Mother And The Wolf

Story type: Literature

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A famished Wolf was prowling about in the morning in search of food. As he passed the door of a cottage built in the forest, he heard a mother say to her child: “Be quiet, or I will throw you out of the window, and the Wolf shall eat you.” The Wolf sat all day […]

A Huntsman, returning with his dogs from the field, fell in by chance with a Fisherman, bringing home a basket laden with fish. The Huntsman wished to have the fish, and their owner experienced an equal longing for the contents of the game-bag. They quickly agreed to exchange the produce of their day’s sport. Each […]

The Oak And The Reeds

Story type: Literature

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A very large Oak was uprooted by the wind, and thrown across a stream. It fell among some Reeds, which it thus addressed: “I wonder how you, who are so light and weak, are not entirely crushed by these strong winds.” They replied: “You fight and contend with the wind, and consequently you are destroyed; […]

The Man And The Satyr

Story type: Literature

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A Man and a Satyr once formed a bond of alliance. One very cold wintry day, as they talked together, the Man put his fingers to his mouth and blew on them. On the Satyr inquiring the reason, he told him that he did it to warm his hands. Later on in the day they […]

The Playful Ass

Story type: Literature

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An Ass climbed up to the roof of a building, and, frisking about there, broke in the tiling. The owner went up after him, and quickly drove him down, beating him severely with a thick wooden cudgel. The Ass said: “Why, I saw the Monkey do this very thing yesterday, and you all laughed heartily, […]

A Maid was carrying her pail of milk to the farm-house, when she fell a-musing. “The money for which this milk will be sold will buy at least three hundred eggs. The eggs, allowing for all mishaps, will produce two hundred and fifty chickens. The chickens will become ready for market when poultry will fetch […]

The Vain Jackdaw

Story type: Literature

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Jupiter determined, it is said, to create a sovereign over the birds, and made proclamation that, on a certain day, they should all present themselves before him, when he would himself choose the most beautiful among them to be king. The Jackdaw, knowing his own ugliness, searched through the woods and fields, and collected the […]

The Ass And The Charger

Story type: Literature

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An Ass congratulated a Horse on being so ungrudgingly and carefully provided for, while he himself had scarcely enough to eat, nor even that without hard work. But when war broke out, the heavy armed soldier mounted the Horse, and rushed into the very midst of the enemy, and the Horse, being wounded, fell dead […]

The Fatal Marriage

Story type: Literature

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The Lion, touched with gratitude by the noble procedure of a Mouse, and resolving not to be outdone in generosity by any wild beast whatsoever, desired his little deliverer to name his own terms, for that he might depend upon his complying with any proposal he should make. The Mouse, fired with ambition at this […]

A Trumpeter, bravely leading on the soldiers, was captured by the enemy. He cried out to his captors: “Pray spare me, and do not take my life without cause or without injury. I have not slain a single man of your troop. I have no arms, and carry nothing but this one brass trumpet.” “That […]

The Boy And The Nettle

Story type: Literature

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A Boy was stung by a Nettle. He ran home and told his mother, saying: “Although it pains me so much, I did but touch it ever so gently.” “That was just it,” said his mother, “which caused it to sting you. The next time you touch a Nettle, grasp it boldly, and it will […]

A Man had two Game-cocks in his poultry yard. One day, by chance, he fell in with a tame Partridge for sale. He purchased it, and brought it home that it might be reared with his Game-cocks. On its being put into the poultry-yard, they struck at it, and followed it about, so that the […]

A Sailor, bound on a long voyage, took with him a Monkey to amuse him while on shipboard. As he sailed off the coast of Greece, a violent tempest arose, in which the ship was wrecked, and he, his Monkey and all the crew were obliged to swim for their lives. A Dolphin saw the […]

A Country Mouse invited a Town Mouse, an intimate friend, to pay him a visit, and partake of his country fare. As they were on the bare plough-lands, eating their wheat-stalks and roots pulled up from the hedge-row, the Town Mouse said to his friend: “You live here the life of the ants, while in […]

The Fox And The Lion

Story type: Literature

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A Fox who had never yet seen a Lion, when he fell in with him by a certain chance for the first time in the forest, was so frightened that he was near dying with fear. On his meeting with him for the second time, he was still much alarmed, but not to the same […]

A widow woman, fond of cleaning, had two little maidens to wait on her. She was in the habit of waking them early in the morning, at cockcrow. The maidens, being aggrieved by such excessive labor, resolved to kill the cock who roused their mistress so early. When they had done this, they found that […]

The Gnat And The Lion

Story type: Literature

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A Gnat came and said to a Lion: “I do not the least fear you, nor are you stronger than I am. For in what does your strength consist? You can scratch with your claws, and bite with your teeth–so can a woman in her quarrels. I repeat that I am altogether more powerful than […]

The Two Pots

Story type: Literature

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A river carried down in its stream two Pots, one made of earthenware, and the other of brass. As they floated along on the surface of the stream, the Earthen Pot said to the Brass Pot: “Pray keep at a distance, and do not come near me, for if you touch me ever so slightly, […]

The Cock And The Jewel

Story type: Literature

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A Cock, scratching for food for himself and his hens, found a precious stone; on which he said: “If thy owner had found thee, and not I, he would have taken thee up, and have set thee in thy first estate; but I have found thee for no purpose. I would rather have one barleycorn […]

The Wolf And The Sheep

Story type: Literature

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A Wolf, being sick and maimed, called to a Sheep, who was passing, and asked him to fetch some water from the stream. “For,” he said, “if you will bring me drink, I will find means to provide myself with meat.” “Yes,” said the Sheep, “if I should bring you the draught, you would doubtless […]

The Ass and the Fox, having entered into a partnership together, went out into the forest to hunt. They had not proceeded far, when they met a Lion. The Fox approached the Lion and promised to contrive for him the capture of the Ass, if he would pledge his word that his own life should […]

The Quack Frog

Story type: Literature

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A Frog once made proclamation to all the beasts that he was a learned physician, and able to heal all diseases. A Fox asked him: “How can you pretend to prescribe for others, and you are unable to heal your own lame gait and wrinkled skin?” Those who pretend that they can mend others should […]

The Mischievous Dog

Story type: Literature

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A Dog used to run up quietly to the heels of those he met, and to bite them without notice. His master sometimes suspended a bell about his neck, that he might give notice of his presence wherever he went, and sometimes he fastened a chain about his neck, to which was attached a heavy […]

The Lion And The Boar

Story type: Literature

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On a summer day, when the great heat induced a general thirst, a Lion and a Boar came at the same moment to a small well to drink. They fiercely disputed which of them should drink first, and were soon engaged in the agonies of a mortal combat. On their stopping on a sudden to […]

Hares And The Frogs

Story type: Literature

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The Hares, oppressed with a sense of their own exceeding timidity, and weary of the perpetual alarm to which they were exposed, with one accord determined to put an end to themselves and their troubles, by jumping from a lofty precipice into a deep lake below. As they scampered off in a very numerous body […]

A Wolf passing by, saw some shepherds in a hut eating for their dinner a haunch of mutton. Approaching them, he said: “What a clamor you would raise, if I were to do as you are doing!” Men are too apt to condemn in others the very things they practice themselves.

The Dog And The Oyster

Story type: Literature

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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 folly in thinking that everything round must be […]

A Mouse, by an unlucky chance, formed an intimate acquaintance with a Frog. The Frog one day, intent on mischief, bound the foot of the Mouse tightly to his own. Thus joined together, the Frog led his friend toward the pool in which he lived, until he reached the very brink, when suddenly jumping in, […]

The Dog, Cock And Fox

Story type: Literature

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A Dog and a Cock, traveling together, took shelter at night in a thick wood. The Cock perched himself on a high branch, while the Dog found a bed at the foot of the tree. When morning dawned, the Cock, as usual, crowed very loudly. A Fox, hearing the sound, and wishing to make a […]

The One-Eyed Doe

Story type: Literature

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A Doe, blind of an eye, was accustomed to graze as near to the edge of the sea as she possibly could, to secure greater safety. She turned her eye towards the land, that she might perceive the approach of a hunter or hound, and her injured eye towards the sea, from which she entertained […]

The Wolf And The Lamb

Story type: Literature

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A Wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea, which should justify to the Lamb himself his right to eat him. He then addressed him: “Sirrah, last year you grossly insulted me.” “Indeed,” bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone of […]

The Bear And The Fox

Story type: Literature

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A bear boasted very much of his philanthropy, saying “that of all animals he was the most tender in his regard for man, for he had such respect for him, that he would not even touch his dead body.” A Fox hearing these words said with a smile to the Bear: “Oh, that you would […]

The Fox And The Mask

Story type: Literature

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A fox entered the house of an actor, and, rummaging through all his properties, came upon a Mask, an admirable imitation of a human head. He placed his paws on it, and said: “What a beautiful head! yet it is of no value, as it entirely wants brains.” A fair face is of little use […]

The Stag At The Pool

Story type: Literature

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A stag saw his shadow reflected in the water, and greatly admired the size of his horns, but felt angry with himself for having such weak feet. While he was thus contemplating himself, a Lion appeared at the pool. The Stag betook himself to flight, and kept himself with ease at a safe distance from […]

A wolf, finding that the sheep were so afraid of him that he could not get near them, disguised himself in the dress of a shepherd, and thus attired approached the flock. As he came near, he found the shepherd fast asleep. As the sheep did not run away, he resolved to imitate the voice […]

The Lioness

Story type: Literature

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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 […]

The Raven And The Swan

Story type: Literature

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A Raven saw a Swan, and desired to secure for himself a like beauty of plumage. Supposing that his splendid white color arose from his washing in the water in which he swam, the Raven left the altars in the neighborhood of which he picked up his living, and took up his abode in the […]

A Stag asked a Sheep to lend him a measure of wheat, and said that the Wolf would be his surety. The Sheep, fearing some fraud was intended, excused herself, saying: “The Wolf is accustomed to seize what he wants, and to run off, and you, too, can quickly out-strip me in your rapid flight. […]

The Cat And The Birds

Story type: Literature

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A Cat, hearing that the Birds in a certain aviary were ailing, dressed himself up as a physician, and, taking with him his cane and the instruments becoming his profession, went to the aviary, knocked at the door, and inquired of the inmates how they all did, saying that if they were ill, he would […]

The Farmer And His Sons

Story type: Literature

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A Farmer being on the point of death, wished to insure from his sons the same attention to his farm as he had himself given it. He called them to his bedside, and said: “My sons, there is a great treasure hid in one of my vineyards.” The sons, after his death, took their spades […]

A Fir Tree said boastingly to the Bramble: “You are useful for nothing at all, while I am everywhere used for roofs and houses.” The Bramble made answer: “You poor creature, if you would only call to mind the axes and saws which are about to hew you down, you would have reason to wish […]

The Fox And The Monkey

Story type: Literature

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A Monkey once danced in an assembly of the Beasts, and so pleased them all by his performance that they elected him their king. A Fox envying him the honor, discovered a piece of meat lying in a trap, and leading the Monkey to the place where it was, said “that she had found a […]

A Wild Ass and a Lion entered into an alliance that they might capture the beasts of the forest with the greater ease. The Lion agreed to assist the Wild Ass with strength, while the Wild Ass gave the Lion the benefit of his greater speed. When they had taken as many beasts as their […]

A man had two daughters, the one married to a gardener, and the other to a tile-maker. After a time he went to the daughter who had married the gardener, and inquired how she was, and how all things went with her. She said: “All things are prospering with me, and I have only one […]

The Brazier And His Dog

Story type: Literature

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A Brazier had a little Dog, which was a great favorite with his master, and his constant companion. While he hammered away at his metals the Dog slept; but when, on the other hand, he went to dinner, and began to eat, the Dog woke up, and wagged his tail, as if he would ask […]

As an old Goat was going forth to pasture, she carefully latched her door, and bid her kid not to open it to any one who could not give this pass-word: “Beware of the Wolf and all his race.” A Wolf happened to be passing, and overheard what the old Goat said. When she was […]

A Fox, while crossing over a river, was driven by the stream into a narrow gorge, and lay there for a long time unable to get out, covered with myriads of horse-flies that had fastened themselves upon him. A Hedgehog, who was wandering in that direction, saw him, and taking compassion on him, asked him […]

Some Bees had built their comb in the hollow trunk of an oak. The Drones asserted that it was their doing, and belonged to them. The cause was brought into court before Judge Wasp. Knowing something of the parties, he thus addressed them: “The plaintiffs and defendants are so much alike in shape and color […]

A Shepherd moved down his flock to feed near the shore, and beholding the Sea lying in a smooth calm, he was seized with a strong desire to sail over it. So he sold all his sheep and bought a cargo of Dates, and loaded a vessel, and set sail. He had not gone far […]

The Dolphins and the Whales were at war with one another, and the Sprat stepped in and endeavored to separate them. But one of the Dolphins cried out: “We would rather perish in the contest, than be reconciled by you.”

Two Travelers on a desert saw a Camel in the distance, and were greatly frightened at his huge appearance, thinking it to be some huge monster. While they hid behind some low shrubs, the animal came nearer, and they discovered that it was only a harmless Camel which had excited their fears. Distance exaggerates dangers.

The Swan And The Goose

Story type: Literature

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A certain rich man bought in the market a Goose and a Swan. He fed the one for his table, and kept the other for the sake of its song. When the time came for killing the Goose, the cook went to take him at night, when it was dark, and he was not able […]

A Heifer, a Goat, a Sheep, and a Lion formed a partnership, and agreed to divide their earnings. The Goat having snared a stag, they sent for the Lion to divide it for them. The Lion said: “I will make four parts–the first shall be mine as judge; the second, because I am strongest; the […]

A Schoolboy stole a horn-book from one of his schoolfellows, and brought it home to his mother. Instead of chastising him, she rather encouraged him in the deed. In course of time the boy, now grown into a man, began to steal things of greater value, until, at last, being caught in the very act, […]

In days when a man was allowed more wives than one, a middle-aged bachelor, who could be called neither young nor old, and whose hair was only just beginning to turn gray, must needs fall in love with two women at once, and marry them both. The one was young and blooming, and wished her […]

While a Rabbit was absent from his hole one day, a Weasel took possession of it. On the Rabbit’s return, seeing the Weasel’s nose sticking out, he said: “You must leave this hole immediately. There is only room for one, and it has always belonged to me and my fathers before me.” “The more reason […]

The Mule

Story type: Literature

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A Mule, frolicsome from want of work and from overmuch corn, galloped about in a very extravagant manner, and said to himself: “My father surely was a high-mettled racer, and I am his own child in speed and spirit.” On the next day, being driven a long journey, and feeling very weary, he exclaimed in […]

The Eagle and the Beetle were at enmity together, and they destroyed one another’s nests. The Eagle gave the first provocation in seizing upon and in eating the young ones of the Beetle. The Beetle got by stealth at the Eagle’s eggs, and rolled them out of the nest, and followed the Eagle even into […]

The Two Goats

Story type: Literature

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Two Goats started at the same moment, from opposite ends, to cross a rude bridge that was only wide enough for one to cross at a time. Meeting at the middle of the bridge, neither would give way to the other. They locked horns and fought for the right of way, until they both fell […]

The Dove And The Ant

Story type: Literature

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An Ant went to the bank of a river to quench its thirst, and, being carried away by the rush of the stream, was on the point of being drowned. A Dove, sitting on a tree overhanging the water, plucked a leaf, and let it fall into the stream close to her. The Ant, climbing […]

The Birds once met together to choose a king; and, among others, the Peacock was a candidate. Spreading his showy tail, and stalking up and down with affected grandeur, he caught the eyes of the silly multitude by his brilliant appearance, and was elected with acclamation. The Magpie then stepped forth into the midst of […]

The Fox And The Tiger

Story type: Literature

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A skillful archer, coming into the woods, directed his arrows so successfully that he slew many wild beasts, and pursued several others. This put the whole savage kind into a fearful consternation, and made them fly to the most retired thickets for refuge. At last, the Tiger resumed courage, and, bidding them not be afraid, […]

The Fox And The Turkeys

Story type: Literature

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A Fox spied some turkeys roosting in a tree. He managed to attract their attention and then ran about the tree, pretended to climb, walked on his hind legs, and did all sorts of tricks. Filled with fear, the Turkeys watched every one of his movements until they became dizzy, and, one by one, fell […]

An Eagle had made her nest at the top of a lofty oak. A Cat, having found a convenient hole, lived with her kittens in the middle of the trunk; and a Wild Sow with her young had taken shelter in a hollow at its foot. The Cat resolved to destroy by her arts this […]

A Peacock, spreading its gorgeous tail, mocked a Crane that passed by, ridiculing the ashen hue of its plumage, and saying: “I am robed like a king, in gold and purple, and all the colors of the rainbow; while you have not a bit of color on your wings.” “True,” replied the Crane, “but I […]

A little starveling Mouse had made his way with some difficulty into a basket of corn, where, finding the entertainment so good, he stuffed and crammed himself to such an extent, that when he would have got out again he found the hole was too small to allow his puffed-up body to pass. As he […]

The Leopard And The Fox

Story type: Literature

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A Leopard, being no longer able, by reason of old age, to pursue his prey, feigned illness, and gave out that he would confer great favors upon any animal that would cure him. A cunning Fox heard of the proclamation, and lost no time in visiting the Leopard, first making himself look as much like […]

The Lion, being badly hurt by the horns of a goat, swore in a great rage that every animal with horns should be banished from his kingdom. A silly Hare, seeing the shadow of his ears, was in great fear lest they should be taken for horns, and scampered away.

A Villager found a Snake under a hedge, almost dead with cold. He could not help having a compassion for the poor creature, so he brought it home, and laid it upon the hearth near the fire; but it had not lain there long, before (being revived with the heat) it began to erect itself, […]

A Madman once set himself up in the market place, and with loud cries announced that he would sell Wisdom. The people at once crowded about him, and some gave him gold for his wares, but they each got only a blow on the ear and a bunch of thread, and were well laughed at […]

Two Travelers, worn out by the heat of the summer’s sun, laid themselves down at noon under the wide-spreading branches of a Plane-tree. As they rested under its shade, one of the Travelers said to the other: “What a singularly useless tree is the Plane. It bears no fruit, and is not of the least […]

A Tortoise, becoming tired of her humble home, resolved to visit foreign lands, but she did not know which way to go. She repaired to two Ducks to show her the road, and they told her that the best way to travel was through the air. On her imploring their help, they made her grasp […]

The Lion And The Wolf

Story type: Literature

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A Wolf, roaming by the mountain’s side, saw his own shadow, as the sun was setting, become greatly extended and magnified, and he said to himself: “Why should I, being of such an immense size, and extending nearly an acre in length, be afraid of the Lion? Ought I not to be acknowledged as King […]

A miller and his Son were driving their Ass to a fair. On the way, they met a troop of girls. “Look there!” cried one of them, “did you ever see such fools, to be trudging along on foot when they might be riding?” The old Man, hearing this, quietly bade his Son get on […]

The Fox And The Ape

Story type: Literature

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Upon the decease of the Lion, the beasts of the forest assembled to choose another king. The Ape played so many grimaces, gambols, and antic tricks, that he was elected by a large majority; and the crown was placed upon his head. The Fox, envious of this distinction, seeing, soon after, a trap baited with […]

The Sensible Ass

Story type: Literature

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An Old Fellow, in time of war, was allowing his Ass to feed in a green meadow, when he was alarmed by a sudden advance of the enemy. He tried every means in his power to urge the Ass to fly, but in vain. “The enemy are upon us!” said he. “And what will the […]

The Lion And The Ass

Story type: Literature

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A Lion and an Ass made an agreement to go out hunting together. By-and-by they came to a cave, where wild goats abode. The Lion took up his station at the mouth of the cave, and the Ass, going within, kicked and brayed, and made a mighty fuss to frighten them out. When the Lion […]

A Bear that had found his way into a garden where Bees were kept began to turn over the hives and devour the honey. The Bees settled in swarms about his head, and stung his eyes and nose so much, that, maddened with pain, he tore the skin from his head with his own claws.

A young Thrush, who lived in an orchard once became acquainted with a Swallow. A friendship sprang up between them; and the Swallow, after skimming the orchard and the neighboring meadow, would every now and then come and visit the Thrush. The Thrush, hopping from branch to branch, would welcome him with his most cheerful […]

The Viper And The File

Story type: Literature

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A Viper, entering the workshop of a smith, sought from the tools the means of satisfying his hunger. He more particularly addressed himself to a File, and asked of him the favor of a meal. The File replied: “You must indeed be a simple-minded fellow if you expect to get anything from me, who am […]

A heavy wagon was being dragged along a country lane by a team of oxen. The axle-trees groaned and creaked terribly, when the oxen, turning round, thus addressed the wheels: “Hallo there! why do you make so much noise? We bear all the labor, and we, not you, ought to cry out.” Those who suffer […]

The Cock And The Fox

Story type: Literature

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The Fox, passing early one summer’s morning near a farm-yard, was caught in a springe, which the farmer had planted there for that end. The Cock, at a distance, saw what happened, and, hardly yet daring to trust himself too near so dangerous a foe, approached him cautiously, and peeped at him. Reynard addressed himself […]

The Boy Bathing

Story type: Literature

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A Boy bathing in a river was in danger of being drowned. He called out to a traveler passing by for help. The traveler, instead of holding out a helping hand, stood up unconcernedly, and scolded the boy for his imprudence. “Oh, sir!” cried the youth, “pray help me now, and scold me afterwards.” Counsel, […]

An Ass, having put on the Lion’s skin, roamed about in the forest, and amused himself by frightening all the foolish animals he met with in his wanderings. At last, meeting a Fox, he tried to frighten him also, but the Fox no sooner heard the sound of his voice, than he exclaimed: “I might […]

The Dancing Monkeys

Story type: Literature

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A Prince had some Monkeys trained to dance. Being naturally great mimics of men’s actions, they showed themselves most apt pupils; and when arrayed in their rich clothes and masks, they danced as well as any of the courtiers. The spectacle was often repeated with great applause, till on one occasion a courtier, bent on […]

An Ass, having heard some Grasshoppers chirping, was highly enchanted; and desiring to possess the same charms of melody, demanded what sort of food they lived on, to give them such beautiful voices. They replied: “The dew.” The Ass resolved that he would live only upon dew, and in a short time died of hunger. […]

An Eagle, flying down from his eyrie on a lofty rock, seized upon a lamb, and carried him aloft in his talons. A Jackdaw who witnessed the capture of the lamb, was stirred with envy, and determined to emulate the strength and flight of the Eagle. He flew round with a great whirr of his […]

The Three Tradesmen

Story type: Literature

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A great city was besieged, and its inhabitants were called together to consider the best means of protecting it from the enemy. A Bricklayer present earnestly recommended bricks, as affording the best materials for an effectual resistance. A Carpenter, with equal energy, proposed timber, as providing a preferable method of defense. Upon which a Currier […]

A Lion and a Bear seized upon a kid at the same moment, and fought fiercely for its possession. When they had fearfully lacerated each other, and were faint from the long combat, they lay down exhausted with fatigue. A Fox who had gone round them at a distance several times, saw them both stretched […]

A Stag, hardly pressed by the hounds, and blind through fear to the danger he was running into, took shelter in a farm-yard, and hid himself in a shed among the oxen. An Ox gave him this kindly warning: “O unhappy creature! why should you thus, of your own accord, incur destruction, and trust yourself […]

A Fox, running before the hounds, came across a Wood-cutter felling an oak, and besought him to show him a safe hiding-place. The Wood-cutter advised him to take shelter in his own hut. The Fox crept in, and hid himself in a corner. The Huntsman came up, with his hounds, in a few minutes, and […]

The Bald Knight

Story type: Literature

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A Bald Knight, who wore a wig, went out to hunt. A sudden puff of wind blew off his hat and wig, at which a loud laugh rang forth from his companions. He joined in the joke by saying: “What marvel that hairs which are not mine should fly from me, when my own have […]

The Miser

Story type: Literature

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A Miser had a lump of gold which he buried in the ground, coming to look at the spot every day. One day he found that it was stolen, and he began to tear his hair and loudly lament. A neighbor, seeing him, said: “Pray do not grieve so; bury a stone in the hole, […]

The Wolf And The Goat

Story type: Literature

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A Wolf saw a Goat feeding at the summit of a steep precipice, where he had not a chance of reaching her. He called to her, and earnestly besought her to come lower down, lest she should by some mishap get a fall; and he added that the meadows lay where he was standing, and […]

The Lion In Love

Story type: Literature

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A Lion demanded the daughter of a woodcutter in marriage. The Father, unwilling to grant and yet afraid to refuse his request, hit upon this expedient. He expressed his willingness to accept him as the suitor of his daughter on one condition; that he should allow him to extract his teeth, and cut off his […]

Hare And The Tortoise

Story type: Literature

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A Hare one day ridiculed the short feet and slow pace of the Tortoise. The latter, laughing, said: “Though you be swift as the wind, I will beat you in a race.” The Hare, deeming her assertion to be simply impossible, assented to the proposal; and they agreed that the Fox should choose the course, […]

Jupiter And The Monkey

Story type: Literature

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Jupiter issued a proclamation to all the beasts of the forest, and promised a royal reward to the one whose offspring should be deemed the handsomest. The Monkey came with the rest, and presented, with all a mother’s tenderness, a flat-nosed, hairless, ill-featured young Monkey as a candidate for the promised reward. A general laugh […]

The Fox And The Stork

Story type: Literature

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The Fox invited the Stork to dinner, and provided nothing but a soup, in a wide, shallow dish. This he could lap up with ease; but the Stork, who could but just dip in the point of his bill, was not a bit better. A few days after, he returned the compliment, and invited the […]

The Bat And The Weasels

Story type: Literature

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A Bat, falling upon the ground, was caught by a Weasel, of whom he earnestly besought his life. The Weasel refused, saying that he was by nature the enemy of all birds. The Bat assured him that he was not a bird, but a mouse, and thus saved his life. Shortly afterward the Bat again […]

A Fisherman was drawing up a net which he had cast into the sea, full of all sorts of fish. The Little Fish escaped through the meshes of the net, and got back into the deep, but the Great Fish were all caught and hauled into the ship. Our insignificance is often the cause of […]

“Why should there always be this implacable warfare between us?” said the Wolves to the Sheep. “Those evil-disposed Dogs have much to answer for. They always bark whenever we approach you, and attack us before we have done any harm. If you would only dismiss them from your heels, there might soon be treaties of […]

The Flies And The Honey

Story type: Literature

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A Jar of Honey having been upset in a housekeeper’s room, a number of flies were attracted by its sweetness, and placing their feet in it, ate it greedily. Their feet, however, became so smeared with the honey that they could not use their wings, nor release themselves, and were suffocated. Just as they were […]

The Ants were employing a fine winter’s day in drying grain collected in the summer time. A Grasshopper, perishing with famine, passed by and earnestly begged for a little food. The Ants inquired of him: “Why did you not treasure up food during the summer?” He replied: “I had not leisure; I passed the days […]

The Thirsty Pigeon

Story type: Literature

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A Pigeon, oppressed by excessive thirst, saw a goblet of water painted on a sign-board. Not supposing it to be only a picture, she flew toward it with a loud whirr, and unwittingly dashed against the sign-board and jarred herself terribly. Having broken her wings by the blow, she fell to the ground, and was […]

Three Bulls for a long time pastured together. A Lion lay in ambush in the hope of making them his prey, but was afraid to attack them whilst they kept together. Having at last by guileful speeches succeeded in separating them, he attacked them without fear, as they fed alone, and feasted on them one […]

The Dog And The Shadow

Story type: Literature

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A Dog, crossing a bridge over a stream with a piece of flesh in his mouth, saw his own shadow in the water, and took it for another Dog, with a piece of meat double his own in size. He therefore let go his own, and fiercely attacked the other Dog, to get his larger […]

Two Mules laden with packs were trudging along. One carried panniers filled with money, the other sacks of grain. The Mule carrying the treasure walked with head erect, and tossed up and down the bells fastened to his neck. His companion followed with quiet and easy step. All on a sudden Robbers rushed from their […]

An idle Horse, and an Ass laboring under a heavy burden, were traveling the road together. The Ass, ready to faint under his heavy load, entreated the Horse to assist him, and lighten his burden, by taking some of it upon his back. The Horse was ill-natured and refused to do it; upon which the […]

The Horse And The Groom

Story type: Literature

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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.” If you wish […]

The Ass And His Shadow

Story type: Literature

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A traveler hired an Ass to convey him to a distant place. The day being intensely hot, and the sun shining in its strength, the traveler stopped to rest, and sought shelter from the heat under the Shadow of the Ass. As this afforded only protection for one, and as the traveler and the owner […]

The Old Lion

Story type: Literature

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A Lion, worn out with years, lay on the ground at the point of death. A Boar rushed upon him, and avenged with a stroke of his tusks a long remembered injury. Shortly afterwards the Bull with his horns gored him as if he were an enemy. When the Ass saw that the huge beast […]

The Ass And The Wolf

Story type: Literature

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An Ass, feeding in a meadow, saw a Wolf approaching to seize him, and immediately pretended to be lame. The Wolf, coming up, inquired the cause of his lameness. The Ass said that he had a thorn in his foot, and requested the Wolf to pull it out. The Wolf consenting, the Ass with his […]

A Fox, caught in a trap, escaped with the loss of his “brush.” Henceforth, feeling his life a burden from the shame and ridicule to which he was exposed, he schemed to bring all the other Foxes into a like condition with himself. He publicly advised them to cut off their tails, saying “that they […]

A Tortoise, lazily basking in the sun, complained to the sea-birds of her hard fate, that no one would teach her to fly. An Eagle, hovering near, heard her lamentation, and demanded what reward she would give him, if he would take her aloft, and float her in the air. “I will give you,” she […]

A Porcupine, wanting to shelter himself, desired a nest of Snakes to give him admittance into their cave. They were prevailed upon, and let him in accordingly; but were so annoyed with his sharp prickly quills that they soon repented of their easy compliance, and entreated the Porcupine to withdraw, and leave them their hole […]

The Ass And The Lap-dog

Story type: Literature

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A man had an Ass and a Maltese Lap-dog, 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 Lap-dog was a great favorite with his master, and he frisked and jumped about him in a manner pleasant […]

The Fox And The Grapes

Story type: Literature

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A famished Fox saw some clusters of ripe black grapes hanging from a trellised vine. She resorted to all her tricks to get at them, but wearied herself in vain, for she could not reach them. At last she turned away, beguiling herself of her disappointment, and saying: “The Grapes are sour, and not ripe […]

An Ass once carried through the streets of the city a famous wooden Image, to be placed in one of its temples. The crowd as he passed along made lowly prostration before the Image. The Ass, thinking that they bowed their heads in token of respect for him, bristled up with pride and gave himself […]

The Father And His Sons

Story type: Literature

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A Father had a family of sons who were perpetually quarreling among themselves. When he failed to heal their disputes by his exhortations, he one day told them to bring him a bundle of sticks. When they had done so, he placed the bundle into the hands of each of them in succession, and ordered […]

An Owl who was sitting in a hollow tree, dozing away a summer’s afternoon, was very much disturbed by a rogue of a Grasshopper singing in the grass beneath. So far from keeping quiet, or moving away at the request of the Owl, the Grasshopper sang all the more, and called her an old blinker, […]

The Cat And The Mice

Story type: Literature

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A certain house was overrun with Mice. A Cat, discovering this, made her way into it, and began to catch and eat them one by one. The Mice, being continually devoured, kept themselves close in their holes. The Cat, no longer able to get at them, perceived that she must tempt them forth by some […]

Some Cranes made their feeding grounds on some plough-lands newly sown with wheat. For a long time the Farmer, brandishing an empty sling, chased them away by the terror he inspired; but when the birds found that the sling was only swung in the air, they ceased to take any notice of it, and would […]

A Shepherd-boy, who watched a flock of sheep near a village, brought out the villagers three or four times by crying out, “Wolf! Wolf!” and when his neighbors came to help him, laughed at them for their pains. The Wolf, however, did truly come at last. The Shepherd-boy, now really alarmed, shouted in an agony […]

The Pigeons, terrified by the appearance of a Kite, called upon the Hawk to defend them. He at once consented. When they had admitted him into the cote, they found that he made more havoc and slew a larger number of them in a single day, than the Kite could possibly pounce upon in a […]

A Herdsman, tending kine in a forest, lost a Bull-calf from the fold. After a long and fruitless search, he made a vow that, if he could only discover the thief who had stolen the Calf he would offer a lamb in sacrifice to the Guardian Deities of the forest. Not long afterwards, as he […]

The Hen And The Swallow

Story type: Literature

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A Hen finding the eggs of a viper, and carefully keeping them warm, nourished them into life. A Swallow observing what she had done, said: “You silly creature! Why have you hatched these vipers, which, when they shall have grown, will surely inflict injury on all of us, beginning with yourself?” If we nourish evil, […]

A Nightingale, sitting aloft upon an oak, was seen by a Hawk, who made a swoop down, and seized him. The Nightingale earnestly besought the Hawk to let him go, saying that he was not big enough to satisfy the hunger of a Hawk, who ought to pursue the larger birds. The Hawk said: “I […]

The Heifer And The Ox

Story type: Literature

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A Heifer saw an Ox hard at work harnessed to a plough, and tormented him with reflections on his unhappy fate in being compelled to labor. Shortly afterward, at the harvest home, the owner released the Ox from his yoke, but bound the Heifer with cords, and led her away to the altar to be […]

The Eagle And The Fox

Story type: Literature

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An Eagle and a Fox formed an intimate friendship, and decided to live near each other. The Eagle built her nest in a tall tree, while the Fox crept into the underwood and there produced her young. Not long after, when the Fox was ranging for food, the Eagle, being in want of provision for […]

The Lamb And The Wolf

Story type: Literature

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A Wolf pursued a Lamb, which fled for refuge to a certain temple. The Wolf called out to him and said: “The priest will slay you in sacrifice, if he should catch you;” on which the Lamb replied: “It would be better for me to be sacrificed in the temple, than to be eaten by […]

A Gardener, who lived alone, became discontented, and set out, one day, to seek a friend who would be a suitable companion. He had not gone far when he met a Bear, whom he invited to come and live with him. The Bear was a very silly one, who was also discontented with living alone, […]

A Boy put his hand into a pitcher full of filberts. He grasped as many as he could possibly hold, but when he endeavored to pull out his hand, he was prevented from doing so by the neck of the pitcher, which was much smaller than his closed hand. Unwilling to lose his filberts, and […]

The Woman And Her Hen

Story type: Literature

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A Woman possessed a Hen that gave her an egg every day. She often thought with herself how she might obtain two eggs daily instead of one, and at last, to gain her purpose, determined to give the Hen a double allowance of barley. From that day the Hen became fat and sleek, and never […]

The Bowman And The Lion

Story type: Literature

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A very skillful Bowman went to the mountains in search of game. All the beasts of the forest fled at his approach. The Lion alone challenged him to combat. The Bowman immediately let fly an arrow; and said to the Lion: “I send thee my messenger, that from him thou mayest learn what I myself […]

A Lark had made her nest in the young green wheat. The brood had almost grown, when the owner of the field, overlooking his crop, said: “I must send to all my neighbors to help me with my harvest.” One of the young Larks heard him, and asked his mother to what place they should […]

The Fawn And His Mother

Story type: Literature

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A young Fawn once said to his mother: “You are larger than a dog, and swifter, and more used to running; why, then, O Mother! are you always in such a terrible fright of the hounds?” She smiled, and said: “I know full well, my son, that all you say is true. I have the […]

The Horse And His Rider

Story type: Literature

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A Horse-soldier took great pains with his charger. As long as the war lasted, he looked upon him as his fellow-helper in all emergencies, and fed him carefully with hay and corn. When the war was over, he only allowed him chaff to eat, and made him carry heavy loads of wood, and subjected him […]

The Dog And The Hare

Story type: Literature

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A Hound, having started a Hare on the hill-side, pursued her for some distance, at one time biting her with his teeth as if he would take her life, and at another time fawning upon her, as if in play with another dog. The Hare said to him: “I wish you would act sincerely by […]

The Fox And The Goat

Story type: Literature

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A Fox, having fallen into a well, could find no means of escape. A Goat, overcome with thirst, came to the well, and, seeing the Fox, inquired if the water was good. The Fox, concealing his sad plight under a merry guise, indulged in lavish praise of the water, saying it was beyond measure excellent, […]

The Oxen, once on a time, sought to destroy the Butchers, who practiced a trade destructive to their race. They assembled on a certain day to carry out their purpose, and sharpened their horns for the contest. One of them, an exceedingly old one (for many a field had he ploughed), thus spoke: “These Butchers, […]

The Boar And The Ass

Story type: Literature

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A little scoundrel of an Ass, happening to meet with a Boar, had a mind to be arch upon him, and so, says he: “Your humble servant.” The Boar, somewhat nettled at his familiarity, bristled up to him, and told him he was surprised to hear him utter so impudent an untruth, and was just […]

A rich nobleman once opened the theater to the public without charge, and gave notice that he would handsomely reward any one who would produce a new amusement. A Buffoon, well known for his jokes, said that he had a kind of entertainment that had never been produced in a theater. This report, being spread […]

The Prophet

Story type: Literature

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A Wizard, sitting in the market-place, told the fortunes of the passers-by. A person ran up in great haste, and announced to him that the doors of his house had been broken open, and that all his goods were being stolen. He sighed heavily, and hastened away as fast as he could run. A neighbor […]

A Dog had been taught to take his master’s dinner to him every day. As he smelled the good things in the basket, he was sorely tempted to taste them, but he resisted the temptation and continued day after day to carry the basket faithfully. One day all the dogs in the neighborhood followed him […]

The Frogs, grieved at having no established Ruler, sent ambassadors to Jupiter entreating for a King. He, perceiving their simplicity, cast down a huge log into the lake. The Frogs, terrified at the splash occasioned by its fall, hid themselves in the depth of the pool. But no sooner did they see that the huge […]

The Eagle And The Arrow

Story type: Literature

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An Eagle sat on a lofty rock, watching the movements of a Hare, whom he sought to make his prey. An archer, who saw him from a place of concealment, took an accurate aim, and wounded him mortally. The Eagle gave one look at the arrow that had entered his heart, and saw in that […]

A Gentleman, having prepared a great feast, invited a Friend to supper; and the Gentleman’s Dog, meeting the Friend’s Dog, “Come,” said he, “my good fellow, and sup with us to-night.” The Dog was delighted with the invitation, and as he stood by and saw the preparations for the feast, said to himself: “Capital fare […]

A Crow, in great want of food, saw a Serpent asleep in a sunny nook, and flying down, greedily seized him. The Serpent, turning about, bit the Crow with a mortal wound. The Crow in the agony of death exclaimed: “O unhappy me! who have found in that which I deemed a most happy windfall […]

The Cat And The Fox

Story type: Literature

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As the Cat and the Fox were talking politics together, Reynard said: “Let things turn out ever so bad, he did not care, for he had a thousand tricks for them yet, before they should hurt him.” “But pray,” says he, “Mrs. Puss, suppose there should be an invasion, what course do you design to […]

The Dog In The Manger

Story type: Literature

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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.” We should not […]

The Hare And The Hound

Story type: Literature

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A Hound having started a Hare from his form, after a long run, gave up the chase. A Goat-herd, seeing him stop, mocked him, saying: “The little one is the best runner of the two.” The hound replied; “You do not see the difference between us; I was only running for a dinner, but he […]

The Kites And The Swans

Story type: Literature

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The Kites of old time had, equally with the Swans, the privilege of song. But having heard the neigh of the horse, they were so enchanted with the sound, that they tried to imitate it; and, in trying to neigh, they forgot how to sing. The desire for imaginary benefits often involves the loss of […]

The Ass And His Driver

Story type: Literature

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An Ass, being driven along the high road, suddenly started off, and bolted to the brink of a deep precipice. When he was in the act of throwing himself over, his owner, seizing him by the tail, endeavored to pull him back. The Ass persisting in his effort, the man let him go, and said: […]

A Fowler caught a Partridge, and was about to kill him. The Partridge earnestly besought him to spare his life, saying: “Pray, master, permit me to live, and I will entice many Partridges to you in recompense for your mercy to me.” The Fowler replied: “I shall now with the less scruple take your life, […]

A Farmer placed his nets on his newly sown plough lands, and caught a quantity of Cranes, which came to pick up his seed. With them he trapped a Stork also. The Stork, having his leg fractured by the net, earnestly besought the Farmer to spare his life. “Pray, save me, Master,” he said, “and […]

The Stag And The Fawn

Story type: Literature

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A Stag, grown old and mischievous, was, according to custom, stamping with his foot, making offers with his head, and bellowing so terribly that the whole herd quaked for fear of him; when one of the little Fawns, coming up, addressed him thus: “Pray, what is the reason that you, who are so formidable at […]

An Ass and a Cock were together, when a Lion, desperate from hunger, approached. He was about to spring upon the Ass, when the Cock (to the sound of whose voice the Lion, it is said, has a singular aversion) crowed loudly, and the Lion fled away. The Ass, observing his trepidation at the mere […]

The Goat And The Ass

Story type: Literature

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A Man once kept a Goat and an Ass. The Goat, envying the Ass on account of his greater abundance of food, said: “How shamefully you are treated; at one time grinding in the mill, and at another carrying heavy burdens;” and he further advised him that he should pretend to be epileptic, and fall […]

The Boasting Traveler

Story type: Literature

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A Man who had traveled in foreign lands boasted very much, on returning to his own country, of the many wonderful and heroic things he had done in the different places he had visited. Among other things, he said that when he was at Rhodes he had leaped to such a distance that no man […]

A Snake, having made his hole close to the porch of a cottage, inflicted a severe bite on the Cottager’s infant son, of which he died, to the great grief of his parents. The father resolved to kill the Snake, and the next day, on its coming out of its hole for food, took up […]

The Bull And The Calf

Story type: Literature

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A Bull was striving with all his might to squeeze himself through a narrow passage which led to his stall. A young Calf came up and offered to go before and show him the way by which he could manage to pass. “Save yourself the trouble,” said the Bull; “I knew that way long before […]

North Wind And The Sun

Story type: Literature

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The North Wind and the Sun disputed which was the more powerful, and agreed that he should be declared the victor who could first strip a wayfaring man of his clothes. The North Wind first tried his power, and blew with all his might; but the keener became his blasts, the closer the Traveler wrapped […]

The Geese and the Cranes fed in the same meadow. A bird-catcher came to ensnare them in his nets. The Cranes, being light of wing, fled away at his approach; while the Geese, being slower of flight and heavier in their bodies, were captured. Those who are caught are not always the most guilty.

A Blind Man was accustomed to distinguish different animals by touching them with his hands. The whelp of a Wolf was brought him, with a request that he would feel it, and say what it was. He felt it, and being in doubt, said: “I do not quite know whether it is the cub of […]

The Kid And The Wolf

Story type: Literature

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A Kid (a young goat), returning without protection from the pasture, was pursued by a Wolf. He turned round, and said to the Wolf: “I know, friend Wolf, that I must be your prey; but before I die, I would ask of you one favor, that you will play me a tune, to which I […]

The Sick Stag

Story type: Literature

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A sick Stag lay down in a quiet corner of his pasture-ground. His companions came in great numbers to inquire after his health, and each one helped himself to a share of the food which had been placed for his use; so that he died, not from his sickness, but from the failure of the […]

A Fowler took his gun, and went into the woods a shooting. He spied a Ringdove among the branches of an oak, and intended to kill it. He clapped the piece to his shoulder, and took his aim accordingly. But, just as he was going to pull the trigger, an adder, which he had trod […]

A Thief came in the night to break into a house. He brought with him several slices of meat, that he might pacify the House-dog, so that he should not alarm his master by barking. As the Thief threw him the pieces of meat, the Dog said: “If you think to stop my mouth, to […]

The Dogs And The Fox

Story type: Literature

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Some Dogs, finding the skin of a lion, began to tear it in pieces with their teeth. A Fox, seeing them, said: “If this lion were alive, you would soon find out that his claws were stronger than your teeth.” It is easy to kick a man that is down.

A Mouse lived in a granary which became, after a while, the frequent resort of a Cat. The Mouse was in great fear and did not know what to do. In her strait, she bethought herself of a Rat who lived not far away, and who had said in her hearing a hundred times that […]

The Vine And The Goat

Story type: Literature

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A Vine was luxuriant in the time of vintage with leaves and grapes. A Goat, passing by, nibbled its young tendrils and its leaves. The Vine said: “Why do you thus injure me and crop my leaves? Is there no young grass left? But I shall not have to wait long for my just revenge; […]

The Monkey And The Cat

Story type: Literature

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A Monkey and a Cat lived in the same family, and it was hard to tell which was the greatest thief. One day, as they were roaming about together, they spied some chestnuts roasting in the ashes. “Come,” said the cunning Monkey, “we shall not go without our dinner to-day. Your claws are better than […]

Two Frogs

Story type: Literature

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Two frogs dwelt in the same pool. The pool being dried up under the summer’s heat, they left it and set out together for another home. As they went along they chanced to pass a deep well, amply supplied with water, on seeing which, one of the Frogs said to the other: “Let us descend […]

Two Soldiers, traveling together, were set upon by a Robber. The one fled away; the other stood his ground, and defended himself with his stout right hand. The Robber being slain, the timid companion runs up and draws his sword, and then, throwing back his traveling cloak, says: “I’ll at him, and I’ll take care […]

The Cat And The Cock

Story type: Literature

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A Cat caught a Cock, and took counsel with himself how he might find a reasonable excuse for eating him. He accused him as being a nuisance to men, by crowing in the night time, and not permitting them to sleep. The Cock defended himself by saying that he did this for the benefit of […]

The Wolf And The Horse

Story type: Literature

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A Wolf coming out of a field of oats met with a Horse, and thus addressed him: “I would advise you to go into that field. It is full of capital oats, which I have left untouched for you, as you are a friend the very sound of whose teeth it will be a pleasure […]

Wolf And The Crane

Story type: Literature

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A Wolf, having a bone stuck in his throat, hired a Crane, for a large sum, to put her head into his throat and draw out the bone. When the Crane had extracted the bone, and demanded the promised payment, the Wolf, grinning and grinding his teeth, exclaimed: “Why, you have surely already a sufficient […]

The Sick Kite

Story type: Literature

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A Kite, sick unto death, said to his mother: “O Mother! do not mourn, but at once invoke the gods that my life may be prolonged.” She replied: “Alas! my son, which of the gods do you think will pity you? Is there one whom you have not outraged by filching from their very altars […]

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 […]

The Fox And The Leopard

Story type: Literature

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The Fox and the Leopard disputed which was the more beautiful of the two. The Leopard exhibited one by one the various spots which decorated his skin. The Fox, interrupting him, said: “And how much more beautiful than you am I, who am decorated, not in body, but in mind.” People are not to be […]

The Mountain In Labor

Story type: Literature

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A Mountain was once greatly agitated. Loud groans and noises were heard; and crowds of people came from all parts to see what was the matter. While they were assembled in anxious expectation of some terrible calamity, out came a Mouse. Don’t make much ado about nothing.

The Old Man And Death

Story type: Literature

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An old man was employed in cutting wood in the forest, and, in carrying the fagots into the city for sale. One day, being very wearied with his long journey, he sat down by the wayside, and, throwing down his load, besought “Death” to come. “Death” immediately appeared, in answer to his summons, and asked […]

A Cottager and his wife had a Hen, which laid every day a golden egg. They supposed that it must contain a great lump of gold in its inside, and killed it in order that they might get it, when, to their surprise, they found that the Hen differed in no respect from their other […]

The Swallow and the Crow had a contention about their plumage. The Crow put an end to the dispute by saying: “Your feathers are all very well in the spring, but mine protect me against the winter.” Fine weather friends are not worth much.

The Fox And The Crow

Story type: Literature

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A Crow, having stolen a bit of flesh, perched in a tree, and held it in her beak. A Fox, seeing her, longed to possess himself of the flesh, and by a wily stratagem succeeded. “How handsome is the Crow,” he exclaimed, “in the beauty of her shape and in the fairness of her complexion! […]

Astronomer

Story type: Literature

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An Astronomer used to walk out every night to gaze upon the stars. It happened one night that, with his whole thoughts rapt up in the skies, he fell into a well. One who heard his cries ran up to him, and said: “While you are trying to pry into the mysteries of heaven, you […]

The Bulls And The Frogs

Story type: Literature

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Two Bulls lived in the same herd, and each aspiring to be the leader and master, they finally engaged in a fierce battle. An old Frog, who sat on the bank of a stream near by, began to groan and to quake with fear. A thoughtless young Frog said to the old one: “Why need […]

A Wild Boar was whetting his tusks against a tree, when a Fox coming by, asked why he did so; “for,” said he, “I see no reason for it; there is neither hunter nor hound in sight, nor any other danger that I can see, at hand.” “True,” replied the Boar; “but when that danger […]

The Hunter And The Wolf

Story type: Literature

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A greedy Hunter one day shot a fine Deer, and ere he could dress it, a pretty Fawn came that way, and an arrow brought it to the ground. A Boar now chanced to be passing, and the Hunter wounded it so that it lay upon the ground as if dead. Not satisfied with this […]

The Wind And The Sun

Story type: Literature

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A dispute once arose between the Wind and the Sun, which was the stronger of the two, and they agreed to settle the point upon this issue–that whichever of the two soonest made a traveler take off his cloak, should be accounted the more powerful. The Wind began, and blew with all his might and […]

A Dog complained of the cruelty of her master in cutting off her ears, and was so ashamed of her appearance that she resolved to stay in her kennel with her family. A friendly hunting dog said to her: “If you had been peaceful, and not always fighting, you would have saved your ears and […]

The Lion, the Ass and the Fox formed a party to go out hunting. They took a large booty, and when the sport was ended, bethought themselves of having a hearty meal. The Lion bade the Ass allot the spoil. So, dividing it into three equal parts, the Ass begged his friends to make their […]

The Gnat And The Bull

Story type: Literature

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A Gnat that had been buzzing about the head of a Bull, at length settling himself down upon his horn, begged his pardon for incommoding him; “but if,” says he, “my weight at all inconveniences you, pray say so, and I will be off in a moment.” “Oh, never trouble your head about that,” says […]

The Lion And The Gnat

Story type: Literature

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As a Gnat was buzzing around a Lion, the Lion said to him: “How dare you approach so near? Be off, or I will kill you with the least stroke of my paw.” The Gnat, knowing the advantage of his small size, and his alertness, immediately challenged the boaster to combat, and alighting first upon […]

The Ass Carrying Salt

Story type: Literature

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A certain Huckster who kept an Ass, hearing that Salt was to be had cheap at the sea-side, drove down his Ass thither to buy some. Having loaded the beast as much as he could bear, he was driving him home, when, as they were passing a slippery ledge of rock, the Ass fell into […]

A certain man had the good fortune to possess a Goose that laid him a Golden Egg every day. But dissatisfied with so slow an income, and thinking to seize the whole treasure at once, he killed the Goose, and cutting her open, found her–just what any other goose would be! Much wants more, and […]

An Old Woman found an empty jar which had lately been full of prime old wine, and which still retained the fragrant smell of its former contents. She greedily placed it several times to her nose, and drawing it backwards and forwards, said: “O most delicious! How nice must the Wine itself have been when […]

It was a stormy day, and the snow was falling fast, when a Goatherd drove his Goats, all white with snow, into a desert cave for shelter. There he found that a herd of Wild Goats, more numerous and larger than his own, had already taken possession. So, thinking to secure them all, he left […]

The Horse And The Wolf

Story type: Literature

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A Wolf saw a Horse grazing in a field. Putting on a grave air, he approached him and said: “Sir, you must be very ill; I have some skill as a physician, and if you will tell me where your ailment is, I shall be glad to be of service.” Said the horse: “If you […]

The Man Bitten By A Dog

Story type: Literature

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A Man who had been bitten by a Dog was going about asking who could cure him. One that met him said: “Sir, if you would be cured, take a bit of bread and dip it in the blood of the wound, and give it to the dog that bit you.” The Man smiled, and […]

The Rat And The Frog

Story type: Literature

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A Rat in an evil day made acquaintance with a Frog, and they set off on their travels together. The Frog, on pretense of great affection, and of keeping his companion out of harm’s way, tied the Rat’s foot to his own hind-leg, and thus they proceeded for some distance by land. Presently they came […]

The Widow And The Sheep

Story type: Literature

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There was a certain Widow who had an only Sheep, and, wishing to make the most of his wool, she sheared him so closely that she cut his skin as well as his fleece. The Sheep, smarting under this treatment, cried out: “Why do you torture me thus? What will my blood add to the […]