The Talking Beasts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 288 pages of information about The Talking Beasts.

The Farmer and the Stork

A Farmer placed nets on his newly sown plough lands, and caught a quantity of Cranes, which came to pick up his seed.  With them he trapped a Stork also.

The Stork, having his leg fractured by the net, earnestly besought the Farmer to spare his life.  “Pray, save me, master,” he said, “and let me go free this once.  My broken limb should excite your pity.  Besides, I am no Crane.  I am a Stork, a bird of excellent character; and see how I love and slave for my father and mother.  Look, too, at my feathers, they are not the least like to those of a Crane.”

The Farmer laughed aloud, and said:  “It may all be as you say, I only know this, I have taken you with those robbers, the Cranes, and you must die in their company.”

The Hare and the Tortoise

The Hare, one day, laughing at the Tortoise for his slowness and general unwieldiness, was challenged by the latter to run a race.  The Hare, looking on the whole affair as a great joke, consented, and the Fox was selected to act as umpire and hold the stakes.

The rivals started, and the Hare, of course, soon left the Tortoise far behind.  Having come midway to the goal, she began to play about, nibble the young herbage, and amuse herself in many ways.  The day being warm, she even thought she would take a little nap in a shady spot, as, if the Tortoise should pass her while she slept, she could easily overtake him again before he reached the end.

The Tortoise meanwhile plodded on, unwavering and unresting, straight toward the goal.

The Hare, having overslept herself, started up from her nap, and was surprised to find that the Tortoise was nowhere in sight.  Off she went at full speed, but on reaching the winning-post found that the Tortoise was already there, waiting for her arrival!

The Old Woman and the Doctor

An old Woman who had bad eyes called in a clever Doctor, who agreed for a certain sum to cure them.  He was a very clever physician, but he was also a very great rogue; and when he called each day and bound up the Old Woman’s eyes he took advantage of her blindness to carry away with him some article of her furniture.  This went on until he pronounced his patient cured and her room was nearly bare.

He claimed his reward, but the Old Woman protested that, so far from being cured, her sight was worse than ever.

“We will soon see about that, my good dame,” said he; and she was shortly after summoned to appear in court.

“May it please Your Honour,” said she to the Judge, “before I called in this Doctor I could see a score of things in my room that now, when he says I am cured, I cannot see at all.”

This opened the eyes of the court to the knavery of the Doctor, who was forced to give the Old Woman her property back again, and was not allowed to claim a penny of his fee.

Project Gutenberg
The Talking Beasts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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