Aesop's Fables; a new translation eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 119 pages of information about Aesop's Fables; a new translation.

    Revenge is a two-edged sword.

VENUS AND THE CAT

A Cat fell in love with a handsome young man, and begged the goddess Venus to change her into a woman.  Venus was very gracious about it, and changed her at once into a beautiful maiden, whom the young man fell in love with at first sight and shortly afterwards married.  One day Venus thought she would like to see whether the Cat had changed her habits as well as her form; so she let a mouse run loose in the room where they were.  Forgetting everything, the young woman had no sooner seen the mouse than up she jumped and was after it like a shot:  at which the goddess was so disgusted that she changed her back again into a Cat.

THE CROW AND THE SWAN

A Crow was filled with envy on seeing the beautiful white plumage of a Swan, and thought it was due to the water in which the Swan constantly bathed and swam.  So he left the neighbourhood of the altars, where he got his living by picking up bits of the meat offered in sacrifice, and went and lived among the pools and streams.  But though he bathed and washed his feathers many times a day, he didn’t make them any whiter, and at last died of hunger into the bargain.

    You may change your habits, but not your nature.

THE STAG WITH ONE EYE

A Stag, blind of one eye, was grazing close to the sea-shore and kept his sound eye turned towards the land, so as to be able to perceive the approach of the hounds, while the blind eye he turned towards the sea, never suspecting that any danger would threaten him from that quarter.  As it fell out, however, some sailors, coasting along the shore, spied him and shot an arrow at him, by which he was mortally wounded.  As he lay dying, he said to himself, “Wretch that I am!  I bethought me of the dangers of the land, whence none assailed me:  but I feared no peril from the sea, yet thence has come my ruin.”

    Misfortune often assails us from an unexpected quarter.

THE FLY AND THE DRAUGHT-MULE

A Fly sat on one of the shafts of a cart and said to the Mule who was pulling it, “How slow you are!  Do mend your pace, or I shall have to use my sting as a goad.”  The Mule was not in the least disturbed.  “Behind me, in the cart,” said he, “sits my master.  He holds the reins, and flicks me with his whip, and him I obey, but I don’t want any of your impertinence. I know when I may dawdle and when I may not.”

THE COCK AND THE JEWEL

A Cock, scratching the ground for something to eat, turned up a Jewel that had by chance been dropped there.  “Ho!” said he, “a fine thing you are, no doubt, and, had your owner found you, great would his joy have been.  But for me! give me a single grain of corn before all the jewels in the world.”

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Project Gutenberg
Aesop's Fables; a new translation from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.