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.
killed.  The driver was in despair, but he did the best he could:  he added the Ass’s load to the Mule’s, and he also flayed the Ass and put his skin on the top of the double load.  The Mule could only just manage the extra weight, and, as he staggered painfully along, he said to himself, “I have only got what I deserved:  if I had been willing to help the Ass at first, I should not now be carrying his load and his skin into the bargain.”

BROTHER AND SISTER

A certain man had two children, a boy and a girl:  and the boy was as good-looking as the girl was plain.  One day, as they were playing together in their mother’s chamber, they chanced upon a mirror and saw their own features for the first time.  The boy saw what a handsome fellow he was, and began to boast to his Sister about his good looks:  she, on her part, was ready to cry with vexation when she was aware of her plainness, and took his remarks as an insult to herself.  Running to her father, she told him of her Brother’s conceit, and accused him of meddling with his mother’s things.  He laughed and kissed them both, and said, “My children, learn from now onwards to make a good use of the glass.  You, my boy, strive to be as good as it shows you to be handsome; and you, my girl, resolve to make up for the plainness of your features by the sweetness of your disposition.”

THE HEIFER AND THE OX

A Heifer went up to an Ox, who was straining hard at the plough, and sympathised with him in a rather patronising sort of way on the necessity of his having to work so hard.  Not long afterwards there was a festival in the village and every one kept holiday:  but, whereas the Ox was turned loose into the pasture, the Heifer was seized and led off to sacrifice.  “Ah,” said the Ox, with a grim smile, “I see now why you were allowed to have such an idle time:  it was because you were always intended for the altar.”

THE KINGDOM OF THE LION

When the Lion reigned over the beasts of the earth he was never cruel or tyrannical, but as gentle and just as a King ought to be.  During his reign he called a general assembly of the beasts, and drew up a code of laws under which all were to live in perfect equality and harmony:  the wolf and the lamb, the tiger and the stag, the leopard and the kid, the dog and the hare, all should dwell side by side in unbroken peace and friendship.  The hare said, “Oh! how I have longed for this day when the weak take their place without fear by the side of the strong!”

THE ASS AND HIS DRIVER

An Ass was being driven down a mountain road, and after jogging along for a while sensibly enough he suddenly quitted the track and rushed to the edge of a precipice.  He was just about to leap over the edge when his Driver caught hold of his tail and did his best to pull him back:  but pull as he might he couldn’t get the Ass to budge from the brink.  At last he gave up, crying, “All right, then, get to the bottom your own way; but it’s the way to sudden death, as you’ll find out quick enough.”

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