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.

A Lion, infirm with age, lay sick in his den, and all the beasts of the forest came to inquire after his health with the exception of the Fox.  The Wolf thought this was a good opportunity for paying off old scores against the Fox, so he called the attention of the Lion to his absence, and said, “You see, sire, that we have all come to see how you are except the Fox, who hasn’t come near you, and doesn’t care whether you are well or ill.”  Just then the Fox came in and heard the last words of the Wolf.  The Lion roared at him in deep displeasure, but he begged to be allowed to explain his absence, and said, “Not one of them cares for you so much as I, sire, for all the time I have been going round to the doctors and trying to find a cure for your illness.”  “And may I ask if you have found one?” said the Lion.  “I have, sire,” said the Fox, “and it is this:  you must flay a Wolf and wrap yourself in his skin while it is still warm.”  The Lion accordingly turned to the Wolf and struck him dead with one blow of his paw, in order to try the Fox’s prescription; but the Fox laughed and said to himself, “That’s what comes of stirring up ill-will.”

HERCULES AND PLUTUS

When Hercules was received among the gods and was entertained at a banquet by Jupiter, he responded courteously to the greetings of all with the exception of Plutus, the god of wealth.  When Plutus approached him, he cast his eyes upon the ground, and turned away and pretended not to see him.  Jupiter was surprised at this conduct on his part, and asked why, after having been so cordial with all the other gods, he had behaved like that to Plutus.  “Sire,” said Hercules, “I do not like Plutus, and I will tell you why.  When we were on earth together I always noticed that he was to be found in the company of scoundrels.”

THE FOX AND THE LEOPARD

A Fox and a Leopard were disputing about their looks, and each claimed to be the more handsome of the two.  The Leopard said, “Look at my smart coat; you have nothing to match that.”  But the Fox replied, “Your coat may be smart, but my wits are smarter still.”

THE FOX AND THE HEDGEHOG

A Fox, in swimming across a rapid river, was swept away by the current and carried a long way downstream in spite of his struggles, until at last, bruised and exhausted, he managed to scramble on to dry ground from a backwater.  As he lay there unable to move, a swarm of horseflies settled on him and sucked his blood undisturbed, for he was too weak even to shake them off.  A Hedgehog saw him, and asked if he should brush away the flies that were tormenting him; but the Fox replied, “Oh, please, no, not on any account, for these flies have sucked their fill and are taking very little from me now; but, if you drive them off, another swarm of hungry ones will come and suck all the blood I have left, and leave me without a drop in my veins.”

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