THE FAWN AND HIS MOTHER
A Hind said to her Fawn, who was now well grown and strong, “My son, Nature has given you a powerful body and a stout pair of horns, and I can’t think why you are such a coward as to run away from the hounds.” Just then they both heard the sound of a pack in full cry, but at a considerable distance. “You stay where you are,” said the Hind; “never mind me”: and with that she ran off as fast as her legs could carry her.
THE FOX AND THE LION
A Fox who had never seen a Lion one day met one, and was so terrified at the sight of him that he was ready to die with fear. After a time he met him again, and was still rather frightened, but not nearly so much as he had been when he met him first. But when he saw him for the third time he was so far from being afraid that he went up to him and began to talk to him as if he had known him all his life.
THE EAGLE AND HIS CAPTOR
A Man once caught an Eagle, and after clipping his wings turned him loose among the fowls in his hen-house, where he moped in a corner, looking very dejected and forlorn. After a while his Captor was glad enough to sell him to a neighbour, who took him home and let his wings grow again. As soon as he had recovered the use of them, the Eagle flew out and caught a hare, which he brought home and presented to his benefactor. A fox observed this, and said to the Eagle, “Don’t waste your gifts on him! Go and give them to the man who first caught you; make him your friend, and then perhaps he won’t catch you and clip your wings a second time.”
THE BLACKSMITH AND HIS DOG
A Blacksmith had a little Dog, which used to sleep when his master was at work, but was very wide awake indeed when it was time for meals. One day his master pretended to be disgusted at this, and when he had thrown him a bone as usual, he said, “What on earth is the good of a lazy cur like you? When I am hammering away at my anvil, you just curl up and go to sleep: but no sooner do I stop for a mouthful of food than you wake up and wag your tail to be fed.”
Those who will not work deserve to starve.
THE STAG AT THE POOL
A thirsty Stag went down to a pool to drink. As he bent over the surface he saw his own reflection in the water, and was struck with admiration for his fine spreading antlers, but at the same time he felt nothing but disgust for the weakness and slenderness of his legs. While he stood there looking at himself, he was seen and attacked by a Lion; but in the chase which ensued, he soon drew away from his pursuer, and kept his lead as long as the ground over which he ran was open and free of trees. But coming presently to a wood, he was caught by his antlers in the branches, and fell a victim to the teeth and claws of his enemy. “Woe is me!” he cried with his last breath; “I despised my legs, which might have saved my life: but I gloried in my horns, and they have proved my ruin.”