There he saw with much wonder and envy a flock of royal Peacocks in all the glory of their splendid plumage. Aesop's Fables are mostly short animal stories with each fable ending with a moral advice. We often make much of the ornamental and despise the useful. That’s what you get. He soon roused the whole hen yard, and when the Farmer came running out, that was the end of Mr. Fox. Pussy stretched out her paw very carefully, pushed aside some of the cinders, and drew back her paw very quickly. But the “porter” was a huge Dog whom the Wolf knew by painful experience to be very unkind toward wolves. “If that is the case,” he said, “cover up that stone. “What a great shouting and running about there would have been, had they caught me at just the very thing they are doing with so much enjoyment!”. A change of habits will not alter nature. “Though Jupiter may not give him the prize, I know that he is the prettiest, the sweetest, the dearest darling in the world.”. So away he hurried to the Crane. Somewhere on it is hidden a rich treasure. “You have reason to complain,” said the Oak. The Ass did not dislike being carried, but so many people came up to point at him and laugh and shout, that he began to kick and bray, and then, just as they were crossing a bridge, the ropes that held him gave way, and down he tumbled into the river. The Fox immediately had rosy visions of a very delicious breakfast. The Kid knew there was little hope for him. A Bull once escaped from a Lion by entering a cave which the Goatherds used to house their flocks in stormy weather and at night. At last a very young Mouse got up and said: “I have a plan that seems very simple, but I know it will be successful. Can it be a crime to eat sheep, such stupid mutton heads? But the Dog would not let them get near the manger, and snarled and snapped as if it were filled with the best of meat and bones, all for himself. The Birds peeped out, and Dr. Cat, with much solicitude, asked how they were. My weapons will have to be ready for use then, or I shall suffer for it.”. “Was he as big as this?”. There are currently 258 fables on our site. But they soon discovered how tame and peaceable King Log was. A Hare was making fun of the Tortoise one day for being so slow. The Shepherd searched a long time without finding any Wolves, but just as he was passing near a large cave on the mountain side, a huge Lion stalked out, carrying a Sheep. The Fox heard the news and hurried to see the Toad. It was late in the day and the Woodman was tired. “We are lost if they find the purse on us,” he cried. A pair of Oxen were drawing a heavily loaded wagon along a miry country road. “Very well,” growled the North Wind, and at once sent a cold, howling blast against the Traveler. That very same morning a hungry Wolf came by farther up the stream, hunting for something to eat. But I know you! At last the Lion decided to call a council. “I wasn’t born until this year.”, “Well, then,” snarled the Wolf, “It was someone in your family anyway. Be sure you can better your condition before you seek to change. So one day he climbed up on a shelf and hung from it, head downward, as if he were dead, holding himself up by clinging to some ropes with one paw. Why did you not keep it in the house where you could easily get it when you had to buy things?”, “Buy!” screamed the Miser angrily. Strangely enough, a Wolf was lurking near and heard what the Goat had said. “Why, it looks to me like a couple of Dogs coming this way. Aesop's Fables are a collection of stories credited to Aesop (620–560 BC), a slave and storyteller who lived in Ancient Greece. “But they might not have heard the news. “Do not think,” he said, “that I submit to your cowardly treatment because I am afraid of you. But it was served in a tall jar with a very narrow neck. The two soon became the best of comrades, living together in the Man’s hut. Now the Fox made as if to climb a tree, now he fell over and lay still, playing dead, and the next instant he was hopping on all fours, his back in the air, and his bushy tail shaking so that it seemed to throw out silver sparks in the moonlight. “That may be a heap of meal, but it looks to me very much like the Cat. Do not let flattery throw you off your guard against an enemy. “Aha!” said the Cock. As he splashed heavily into the water, he crushed a young Frog into the mud. But in the midst of his song, his driver guessed what the Ass had got into his head, and began to beat him unmercifully with a stick. “To win you I would have said and promised anything,” replied the Kite. “Look at me, and you will soon forget that clumsy Elephant! No, no, your majesty. About | Privacy | Contact Then he planted his forefeet on his Master’s knees and rolled out his tongue to lick the Master’s face, as he had seen the Dog do. “I had no sooner left you than I saw Zephyr kissing you. fables, pick one of the categories at the left. So he pretended he was lame, and began to hobble painfully. A Dog asleep in a manger filled with hay, was awakened by the Cattle, which came in tired and hungry from working in the field. But if you are divided among yourselves, you will be no stronger than a single stick in that bundle.”. It was such a joyful song that his pleasure-loving heart was filled with a wish to sing as they did. They have taken all they can hold. Pull them out and I’ll divide them between us.”. “Away with you, vile insect!” said a Lion angrily to a Gnat that was buzzing around his head. Then, decked in his finery, gleaming with emerald, gold, purple, and azure, he strutted proudly among the birds. The grapes seemed ready to burst with juice, and the Fox’s mouth watered as he gazed longingly at them. When they reached the mansion in which the Town Mouse lived, they found on the table in the dining room the leavings of a very fine banquet. So he decided not to wait and made off as fast as his legs could carry him. A Gnat flew over the meadow with much buzzing for so small a creature and settled on the tip of one of the horns of a Bull. “This good, rich milk,” she mused, “will give me plenty of cream to churn. The Ass was so pleased to see the animals running away from him, just as if he were King Lion himself, that he could not keep from expressing his delight by a loud, harsh bray. An invitation prompted by selfishness is not to be accepted. It is said the quarrel grew out of the persecution the race of Geese suffered at the teeth of the Fox family. As he crossed a narrow footbridge, he happened to look down and saw himself reflected in the quiet water as if in a mirror. Even a contemptible Ass let fly his heels and brayed his insults in the face of the Lion. The Bear lost his temper in an instant, and sprang upon the log tooth and claw, to destroy the nest. “Now let me see what yours are worth.”. When at last he had succeeded, he gorged himself to bursting. All fell to lapping up the water as fast as they could. But he took such a great fistful that he could not draw his hand out again. They had no sooner started out again than a loud shout went up from another company of people on the road. “It looked just as if that Bear whispered in your ear,” he said. “How her feathers shine! It is worth just as much to you as the treasure you lost!”. A Lion had been watching three Bullocks feeding in an open field. George Fyler Townsend (1814-1900) and Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) the rest are from Jean De La Fontaine in French and translated to English by several good internet souls. The Ant struggled in vain to reach the bank, and in pity, the Dove dropped a blade of straw close beside it. Your email address will not be published. When the great fall out, the weak must suffer for it. “And so far as shepherds are concerned, we all know they belong to that puny race that pretends to be our masters.”. The Peacock, they say, did not at first have the beautiful feathers in which he now takes so much pride. Besides, I have a very important errand that I had almost forgotten about.”. But when they got there they found the Boy doubled up with laughter at the trick he had played on them. Hurrying to the tree where the Cock was roosting, he said very politely: “A hearty welcome to our woods, honored sir. The Miller did not like to be laughed at, so he told his son to climb up and ride. Immediately they all fell upon him, the Wolf in the lead, and soon had made an end to him, sacrificing him to the gods then and there, and without the formality of an altar. This time he brought up an axe of silver, but the Woodman declared again that his axe was just an ordinary one with a wooden handle. When a man decides to do his own work and not depend on any one else, then you may be sure there will be no more delay.”. “What are you afraid of?” asked a young Frog. The Mouse did not need much coaxing, for he was very anxious to see the world and everything in it. In the still evening air the Wolf’s piping carried far. “You lie here in my cooling shade, and yet you say I am useless! But though the little one continued to fret, the Wolf waited all day in vain. The Goat looked over the edge of the cliff. “We know how you would treat us later on, if some strangers should come as we did.”. There he would find better fare than briny water and sand mites. But instead of thinking, he dropped his bone and sprang at the Dog in the river, only to find himself swimming for dear life to reach the shore. He gobbled up the poor Frogs right and left and they soon saw what fools they had been. So when they saw the Birds getting the better of it, they were Birds for all there was in it. A Heron was walking sedately along the bank of a stream, his eyes on the clear water, and his long neck and pointed bill ready to snap up a likely morsel for his breakfast. He dressed himself in it, and amused himself by hiding in a thicket and rushing out suddenly at the animals who passed that way. “Such scanty fare is not fit for a Heron.”, “No indeed,” said the Heron. In terror the Boy ran toward the village shouting “Wolf! He called himself an Astrologer, and spent his time at night gazing at the sky. “That means me, I suppose. While Aesop was revered for his abilities, it is almost certain that many of the fables attributed to The happy Woodman returned to his home with his treasures, and soon the story of his good fortune was known to everybody in the village. Wise Judge Hornet quickly understood why they did so: They knew they could not build a honey comb and fill it with honey. When the young Larks told their mother what they had heard that day, she said: “Then we must be off at once. And so they died, giving their lives for the sake of a taste of sweetness. Copyright © The author [2020] All Rights Reserved. “Then of course you often visit Piraeus.”, “Yes, yes,” replied the Monkey. The Woodman was in despair. But as nothing stirred, all trooped joyfully out to celebrate the death of the Cat. So she opened her beak wide to utter her loudest caw, and down fell the cheese straight into the Fox’s open mouth. We are very well, thank you, and more so, if you only keep away from here.”. Then we can decide in all justice who is the most guilty.”. The hungry Stork was much displeased at the trick, but he was a calm, even-tempered fellow and saw no good in flying into a rage. “There isn’t any danger that I can see.”, “True enough,” replied the Boar, “but when danger does come there will not be time for such work as this. No hidden gold did they find; but at harvest time when they had settled their accounts and had pocketed a rich profit far greater than that of any of their neighbors, they understood that the treasure their father had told them about was the wealth of a bountiful crop, and that in their industry had they found the treasure. The horses could hardly drag the load through the deep mud, and at last came to a standstill when one of the wheels sank to the hub in a rut. “How grand!” said the Cock. But an Eagle, circling overhead, heard the boasting chanticleer and, swooping down, carried him off to his nest. Some Boys were playing one day at the edge of a pond in which lived a family of Frogs. He was not able to impress anyone. Two Men were traveling in company through a forest, when, all at once, a huge Bear crashed out of the brush near them. His fables are some of the most well known in the world. Of course, they were all hungry, and helped themselves freely to the Stag’s food; and as you would expect, the Stag soon starved to death. Such deceit was unpardonable, and Birds and Beasts made common cause to drive out the Bats. “Very well; now dance!” And they turned their backs on the Grasshopper and went on with their work. He had been working since sunrise and his strokes were not so sure as they had been early that morning. There was a sudden rush of great wings. “Why, of course,” replied the Kite. One day when the quarreling had been much more violent than usual and each of the Sons was moping in a surly manner, he asked one of them to bring him a bundle of sticks. A Rat was traveling along the King’s highway. After the meal the friends had a long talk, or rather the Town Mouse talked about her life in the city while the Country Mouse listened. “What have you Wheels to complain about so loudly? They persuaded the Dogs to go away, and that very evening the Wolves had the grandest feast of their lives. At the ford the Ass again tumbled over; but when he had scrambled to his feet, it was a very disconsolate Ass that dragged himself homeward under a load ten times heavier than before. A Giant Oak stood near a brook in which grew some slender Reeds. The Tortoise, you know, carries his house on his back. The road led across a treeless plain where the Sun beat down fiercely. I’ll show him who is fit to be king, he or I.”. He was to meet some jolly young men that morning, and he was at his wits’ end how to get enough money to keep up appearances. After he had rested a short time, he made ready to fly away. Next day the Merchant went for another load of salt. Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves. But the Dog seemed to be very proud of the clog and dragged it about noisily as if he wished to attract everybody’s attention. A chilly little wind came creeping with them making scary noises in the grass. Foolish curiosity and vanity often lead to misfortune. A poor Fisherman, who lived on the fish he caught, had bad luck one day and caught nothing but a very small fry. Not one did she spare. O my gold!” cried the Miser, wildly, “someone has robbed me!”, “Your gold! “Look,” he said. On the ground lay a Snake, stiff and frozen with the cold. “Do not be frightened, children,” said the Mother Lark. No longer could a fat young hen tempt Master Fox to dinner, nor a tender lamb rouse greedy Sir Wolf’s appetite. The Frogs & the Ox; Belling the Cat; The Town Mouse & the Country Mouse; The Fox & the Grapes; The Wolf & the Crane; The Lion & the Mouse; The Gnat & the Bull; The Plane Tree; The Owl & the Grasshopper; The Oak & the Reeds; The Crow & the Pitcher; The Two Goats; The Wild Boar & the Fox; The Heron; The Fox & the Stork; The Stag & His Reflection He was very angry to think that any animal that he chose for a meal, should be so brazen as to wear such dangerous things as horns to scratch him while he ate. So intense did the heat become, that the Traveler at last decided to stop for a rest, and as there was no other shade to be found, the Traveler sat down in the shadow of the Ass. But before he could untie the reed that bound him to the dead Mouse, a Hawk came sailing over the pond. Two Travelers and a Bear. The Wasps protested loudly. It was nobody but the Barnyard Cock and the first one the little Mouse had ever seen. “What if you should fall! “This wheat is now ready for reaping,” said the Farmer. In return you will get tidbits of every kind, chicken bones, choice bits of meat, sugar, cake, and much more beside, not to speak of kind words and caresses.”. So one evening when the flock started home from the pasture and his mother called, the Kid paid no heed and kept right on nibbling the tender grass. “Perhaps you see the mark of the collar to which my chain is fastened.”, “What! “I have found a purse. “Here is a dainty bite for my breakfast.”, Up he trotted to the foot of the tree in which the Crow was sitting, and looking up admiringly, he cried, “Good-morning, beautiful creature!”. “You should always walk straight forward with your toes turned out.”, “Show me how to walk, mother dear,” answered the little Crab obediently, “I want to learn.”. In every battle the Weasels carried off the victory, as well as a large number of the Mice, which they ate for dinner next day. The Eagle’s grief and anger knew no bounds, but who had done the cruel deed she did not know. A young Mouse in search of adventure was running along the bank of a pond where lived a Frog. A Town Mouse once visited a relative who lived in the country. A Fox, swimming across a river, was barely able to reach the bank, where he lay bruised and exhausted from his struggle with the swift current. I know it will make you sing like Apollo himself.”. He visited the hen house very often and at last got so greedy that he would swallow the eggs whole. Pavel lives in a basket with his peg friends but when he's dropped in the garden, his life changes forever. But he could not keep away from that field, for it is hard to resist watching a good meal, even when there is little chance of getting it. The narrow path would have made the bravest tremble. Soon the Mouse line gave way before the attack and the whole army fled for cover. But it was not long before he grew impatient with the Goose because she gave him only a single golden egg a day. “The Shepherd often catches and carries off one of us. At first his beams were gentle, and in the pleasant warmth after the bitter cold of the North Wind, the Traveler unfastened his cloak and let it hang loosely from his shoulders. Once upon a time a Cat and a Monkey lived as pets in the same house. A few days later, the wheat was so ripe, that when the wind shook the stalks, a hail of wheat grains came rustling down on the young Larks’ heads. But he always guarded it faithfully. Many a Hare and many a Mouse died. Every day the Dog would run to meet the Master, frisking playfully about and leaping up to lick his hands and face. Soon a swarm of blood … The privates easily slipped into their holes, but the Mouse leaders could not squeeze through the narrow openings because of their head-dresses. Now the jealous Ass got it into his silly head that all he had to do to win his Master’s favor was to act like the Dog. The Hare now ran his swiftest, but he could not overtake the Tortoise in time. Aesop's Fables - stories and analogies for training and communications. Not a drop of soup could he get. The Fisherman was about to put it in his basket when the little Fish said: “Please spare me, Mr. Fisherman! The same measures will not suit all circumstances. Such evidence did not help Judge Hornet to any decision, so he adjourned court for six weeks to give him time to think it over. The Tortoise and the Hare: Never Give Up! But the Dolphins took the shipwrecked people on their backs and swam with them to shore. The tyrant can always find an excuse for his tyranny. The Dog could creep inside and the Cock would fly up on one of the branches. A Merchant, driving his Ass homeward from the seashore with a heavy load of salt, came to a river crossed by a shallow ford. Be that as it may, Aesop is referred to by ancient luminaries such as Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. “But come, I know a good place to hide till he is gone.”. But no matter who it was, I do not intend to be talked out of my breakfast.”. As she thought of how she would settle that matter, she tossed her head scornfully, and down fell the pail of milk to the ground. “You may have luxuries and dainties that I have not,” she said as she hurried away, “but I prefer my plain food and simple life in the country with the peace and security that go with it.”. The Weasel had to admit that the Bat was not a Mouse, so he let him go. The Eagle could not reach the Serpent, neither with beak nor claws. A Mule had had a long rest and much good feeding. Hurrying to King Monkey, he told him he had found a rich treasure, which he had not touched because it belonged by right to his majesty the Monkey. Two Travellers, walking in the noonday sun, sought the shade of a widespreading tree to rest. When the Wolf felt that the bone was gone, he started to walk away. But please do not tell anybody about it. Just then a Crow flew by. No compromise was possible, and so they went at it tooth and claw. At last he managed to scramble out, and as he stood sadly thinking about the good bone he had lost, he realized what a stupid Dog he had been. There are many who pretend to despise and belittle that which is beyond their reach. A fine coat is not always an indication of an attractive mind. At last they paid no attention whatever to the Farmer. The North Wind and the Sun had a quarrel about which of them was the stronger. “You are a Mouse,” he said, “and I am a sworn enemy of Mice. They drove him very slowly, for they thought they would have a better chance to sell him if they kept him in good condition. A possession is worth no more than the use we make of it. Do not be too hard to suit or you may have to be content with the worst or with nothing at all. Precious things are without value to those who cannot prize them. The North Wind tore angrily at the cloak, but all his efforts were in vain. At nightfall the Cock, looking for a place to roost, as was his custom, spied nearby a hollow tree that he thought would do very nicely for a night’s lodging. Three bugs listen to a dragon-fly tell them the story of how catfish got their flat heads. “What makes you squeal like that?” asked one of the Sheep. You will have to stay there till you feel just like you did when you went in. There he stood, unwilling to give up a single filbert and yet unable to get them all out at once. A very young Mouse, who had never seen anything of the world, almost came to grief the very first time he ventured out. The Dog tried to run away from them. Then one day the Bullocks had a quarrel, and when the hungry Lion came to look at them and lick his chops as he was accustomed to do, he found them in separate corners of the field, as far away from one another as they could get. Better to bear a lesser evil than to risk a greater in removing it. But in spite of its squeals and struggles to escape, the Shepherd tucked his prize under his arm and started off to the butcher’s in the market place. One day the Wolf ran down a Stag and immediately called his comrades to divide the spoil. But the Fisherman quickly put the fish into his basket. “Look,” said one, “a great ship rides in from distant lands, bearing rich treasures!”. The Satyr sprang hurriedly to his feet and made for the door. Sure enough, the Mice soon began to come out. Meanwhile, the flock was moving slowly homeward. One day he heard that some Birds in the neighborhood were ailing and needed a doctor.