The Talking Beasts eBook

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

“The end of a rope would be of more use to me than all your pity,” answered the Fox.

“Just help me to get my foot on solid ground once more, and you shall have the whole story.”

The Hen and the Fox

A Fox, having crept into an outhouse, looked up and down for something to eat, and at last espied a Hen sitting upon a perch so high that he could be no means come at her.  He therefore had recourse to an old stratagem.

“Dear cousin,” said he to her, “how do you do?  I heard that you were ill and kept at home; I could not rest, therefore, till I had come to see you.  Pray let me feel your pulse.  Indeed, you do not look well at all.”

He was running on in this impudent manner, when the Hen answered him from the roost:  “Truly, dear Reynard, you are in the right.  I was seldom in more danger than I am now.  Pray excuse my coming down; I am sure I should catch my death.”

The Fox, finding himself foiled by the Hen’s cleverness, made off and tried his luck elsewhere.

The Ass and His Shadow

A Man, one hot day, hired an Ass, with his Driver, to carry some merchandise across a sandy plain.  The sun’s rays were overpowering, and unable to advance farther without a temporary rest he called upon the Driver to stop, and proceeded to sit down in the shadow of the Ass.

The Driver, however, a lusty fellow, rudely pushed him away, and sat down on the spot himself.

“Nay, friend,” said the Driver, “when you hired this Ass of me you said nothing about the shadow.  If now you want that, too, you must pay for it.”

The Ass in the Lion’s Skin

An Ass, finding a Lion’s skin, put it on, and ranged about the forest.  The beasts fled in terror, and he was delighted at the success of his disguise.  Meeting a Fox, he rushed upon him, and this time he tried to imitate as well the roaring of the Lion.

“Ah,” said the Fox, “if you had held your tongue I should have been deceived like the rest; but now you bray I know who you are!”

The Wolf and the Sheep

A Wolf, sorely wounded and bitten by dogs, lay sick and maimed in his lair.  Parched with thirst, he called to a Sheep who was passing and asked her to fetch some water from a stream flowing close by.  “For,” he said, “if you will bring me drink, sister, I will find means to provide myself with meat.”

“Yes,” said the Sheep, “but if I should bring you the draught, you would doubtless make me provide the meat also.”

Jupiter’s Two Wallets

When Jupiter made Man, he gave him two Wallets; one for his neighbour’s faults, the other for his own.  He threw them over the Man’s shoulder, so that one hung in front and the other behind.

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The Talking Beasts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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