THE HOUND AND THE FOX
A Hound, roaming in the forest, spied a lion, and being well used to lesser game, gave chase, thinking he would make a fine quarry. Presently the lion perceived that he was being pursued; so, stopping short, he rounded on his pursuer and gave a loud roar. The Hound immediately turned tail and fled. A Fox, seeing him running away, jeered at him and said, “Ho! ho! There goes the coward who chased a lion and ran away the moment he roared!”
THE FATHER AND HIS DAUGHTERS
A Man had two Daughters, one of whom he gave in marriage to a gardener, and the other to a potter. After a time he thought he would go and see how they were getting on; and first he went to the gardener’s wife. He asked her how she was, and how things were going with herself and her husband. She replied that on the whole they were doing very well: “But,” she continued, “I do wish we could have some good heavy rain: the garden wants it badly.” Then he went on to the potter’s wife and made the same inquiries of her. She replied that she and her husband had nothing to complain of: “But,” she went on, “I do wish we could have some nice dry weather, to dry the pottery.” Her Father looked at her with a humorous expression on his face. “You want dry weather,” he said, “and your sister wants rain. I was going to ask in my prayers that your wishes should be granted; but now it strikes me I had better not refer to the subject.”
THE THIEF AND THE INNKEEPER
A Thief hired a room at an inn, and stayed there some days on the look-out for something to steal. No opportunity, however, presented itself, till one day, when there was a festival to be celebrated, the Innkeeper appeared in a fine new coat and sat down before the door of the inn for an airing. The Thief no sooner set eyes upon the coat than he longed to get possession of it. There was no business doing, so he went and took a seat by the side of the Innkeeper, and began talking to him. They conversed together for some time, and then the Thief suddenly yawned and howled like a wolf. The Innkeeper asked him in some concern what ailed him. The Thief replied, “I will tell you about myself, sir, but first I must beg you to take charge of my clothes for me, for I intend to leave them with you. Why I have these fits of yawning I cannot tell: maybe they are sent as a punishment for my misdeeds; but, whatever the reason, the facts are that when I have yawned three times I become a ravening wolf and fly at men’s throats.” As he finished speaking he yawned a second time and howled again as before. The Innkeeper, believing every word he said, and terrified at the prospect of being confronted with a wolf, got up hastily and started to run indoors; but the Thief caught him by the coat and tried to stop him, crying, “Stay, sir, stay, and take charge of my clothes, or else I shall never see them again.” As he spoke he opened his mouth and began to yawn for the third time. The Innkeeper, mad with the fear of being eaten by a wolf, slipped out of his coat, which remained in the other’s hands, and bolted into the inn and locked the door behind him; and the Thief then quietly stole off with his spoil.