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Aesop's Fables


The Flies and the Honey Pot

After a jar of honey was upset in a housekeeper's room, a number of flies were attracted by its sweetness and ate greedily. Their feet, however, became so smeared with the honey that they could not release themselves and were suffocated. Just as they were dying, they exclaimed, "Oh, we are foolish creatures - for the sake of a little pleasure we have thrown away our lives!"

Pleasure sometimes brings pain.

The Two Bags

According to an ancient legend, every man is born into the world with two bags suspended from his neck - a small bag kept in front, full of his neighbours faults, and a large bag held behind, filled with his own. Hence it is that men are quick to see the faults of others and yet are often blind to their own more numerous faults.

The Crab and its Mother

A Crab one day said to her son, "Why do you walk so crooked? It is far better to go straight." The young Crab replied, "Quite true, Mother; why don't you show me how?"

Example is more powerful than reproach.

The Mule

A Mule, silly from lack of work and too much corn, was showing off. He galloped about in a very extravagant manner, saying, "My mother was a high-minded racer, and I am her child in speed and spirit." The next day, being driven on a long journey and feeling very tired, the Mule exclaimed in a disconsolate tone, "Well my father, after all, was only an ass."

Every truth has two sides; it is best to look at both before committing oneself to either.


The Lion and His Three Councillors

The Lion called the Sheep to ask her if his breath smelled. She said yes, and he bit her head off for telling the truth. He called over the Wolf and asked the same question. The Wolf said no, and the Lion tore him to pieces for being a flatterer. At last he called the Fox and asked the question one more time. The Fox replied that he had a bad cold and could not smell.

The wise man says nothing in dangerous times.

The Wolf and the Horse

A Wolf coming out of a field of oats met a Horse and told him, "Take your supper in that field. It is full of excellent oats, which I have left for you untouched." The Horse replied, "If you wolves could eat oats, I doubt you'd be so happy to share your discovery."

Few thanks are due to those who give away what is of no use to them

The Hare and the Hound

A Hound chasing a Hare gave up after a long while. A Goatherd, who was watching, mocked the dog, saying the Hare was a better runner. "You don't see the difference," replied the Hound. "I was only running for my dinner. He was running for his life."


The Blind Man and the Whelp

A Blind Man could distinguish different animals by touching them with his hands. One day a baby wolf was brought to him, with a request that the Blind Man say what it was. He felt the creature and, being in doubt, said "I do not know whether your father was a fox or a wolf, but I know that I would not trust you among a flock of sheep."

Evil tendencies are shown early in life.

The Fox Who Lost His Tail

A Fox caught in a trap escaped but lost his tail in the struggle. Feeling self-conscious about his deficiency, he tried to make the other foxes follow his example. He called a meeting and advised them to cut off their tails, saying, "You have no idea of the ease and comfort with which I now move about." Upon this, one of the oldest stepped forward and said, "I'm sure, my friend, if you had any chance of recovering your own tail, you wouldn't be advising us to lose ours."

The Farmer and the Stork

A Farmer fixed a net in his field to catch the Cranes who came to feed on his corn. When he went to examine the net, he found a Stork among the Cranes. "Spare me," cried the Stork. "I have eaten none of your corn. I am no Crane but a Stork, a bird of excellent character, and I honour and slave for my mother and father." The Farmer laughed and said, "Say what you will, but I have caught you with those who are destroying my crops, and you must suffer what they will suffer."

Bad company proves more than fair professions. Birds of a feather flock together.

The Man and the Lion

A Man and a Lion were once travelling together through the forest, and soon each began to boast of his superior strength. As the dispute heated up, they passed a statue that showed a man strangling a lion. The Man pointed to it and said, "See! What more proof do you need?" The Lion replied, "This is your version of the story. If lions could erect statues, you would see twenty dead men under the paw of that lion."

Men are unreliable narrators of their own stories.

The Lioness

There was a great controversy among the beasts of the field as to which produced the greatest number of offspring at a birth. They rushed clamorously into the presence of the Lioness and demanded of her, "How many sons have you had at a birth?" The Lioness laughed at them and said, "One, but that one is a lion."

The value is in the worth, not in the number. Quality before quantity.