When you hit back make sure you have got the right man.
A Wolf on his rambles came to a field of oats, but, not being able to eat them, he was passing on his way when a Horse came along. “Look,” said the Wolf, “here’s a fine field of oats. For your sake I have left it untouched, and I shall greatly enjoy the sound of your teeth munching the ripe grain.” But the Horse replied, “If wolves could eat oats, my fine friend, you would hardly have indulged your ears at the cost of your belly.”
There is no virtue in giving to others what is useless to oneself.
A Bat, a Bramble, and a Seagull went into partnership and determined to go on a trading voyage together. The Bat borrowed a sum of money for his venture; the Bramble laid in a stock of clothes of various kinds; and the Seagull took a quantity of lead: and so they set out. By and by a great storm came on, and their boat with all the cargo went to the bottom, but the three travellers managed to reach land. Ever since then the Seagull flies to and fro over the sea, and every now and then dives below the surface, looking for the lead he’s lost; while the Bat is so afraid of meeting his creditors that he hides away by day and only comes out at night to feed; and the Bramble catches hold of the clothes of every one who passes by, hoping some day to recognise and recover the lost garments.
All men are more concerned
to recover what they lose than to
acquire what they lack.
A Dog was lying in the sun before a farmyard gate when a Wolf pounced upon him and was just going to eat him up; but he begged for his life and said, “You see how thin I am and what a wretched meal I should make you now: but if you will only wait a few days my master is going to give a feast. All the rich scraps and pickings will fall to me and I shall get nice and fat: then will be the time for you to eat me.” The Wolf thought this was a very good plan and went away. Some time afterwards he came to the farmyard again, and found the Dog lying out of reach on the stable roof. “Come down,” he called, “and be eaten: you remember our agreement?” But the Dog said coolly, “My friend, if ever you catch me lying down by the gate there again, don’t you wait for any feast.”
Once bitten, twice shy.
A Wasp settled on the head of a Snake, and not only stung him several times, but clung obstinately to the head of his victim. Maddened with pain the Snake tried every means he could think of to get rid of the creature, but without success. At last he became desperate, and crying, “Kill you I will, even at the cost of my own life,” he laid his head with the Wasp on it under the wheel of a passing waggon, and they both perished together.