The Talking Beasts eBook

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

The stirrup-holder was overcome with horror, and came down from the mountain bewildered, and represented the state of the case, and gave the King a cup of cold water from his ewer.  The latter raised the cup to his lips, and his eyes overflowed with tears.  The attendant asked the reason of his weeping.  The King drew a sigh from his anguished heart and relating in full the story of the Hawk and the spilling of the water in the cup, said:  “I grieve for the death of the Hawk, and bemoan my own deed in that without inquiry I have deprived a creature, so dear to me, of life.”  The attendant replied:  “This Hawk protected thee from a great peril, and has established a claim to the gratitude of all the people of this country.  It would have been better if the King had not been precipitate in slaying it, and had quenched the fire of wrath with the water of mildness.”

The King replied; “I repent of this unseemly action; but my repentance is now unavailing, and the wound of this sorrow cannot be healed by any salve”; and this story is related in order that it may be known that many such incidents have occurred where, through the disastrous results of precipitation, men have fallen into the whirlpool of repentance.

The Mouse and the Frog

It is related that a Mouse had taken up its abode on the brink of a fountain and had fixed its residence at the foot of a tree.

A Frog, too, passed his time in the water there, and sometimes came to the margin of the pool to take the air.  One day, coming to the edge of the water, he continued uttering his voice in a heart-rending cadence and assumed himself to be a nightingale of a thousand melodies.

At that time the Mouse was engaged in chanting in a corner of his cell.  Directly he heard the uproarious yelling of the Frog he was astounded, and came out with the intention of taking a look at the reciter; and while occupied with listening to him, kept smiting his hands together and shaking his head.  These gestures, which seemed to display approbation, pleased the Frog and he made advances toward acquaintance with him.  In short, being mutually pleased with each other, they became inseparable companions, and used to narrate to each other entertaining stories and tales.

One day the Mouse said to the Frog:  “I am oftentimes desirous of disclosing to thee a secret and recounting to thee a grief which I have at heart, and at that moment thou art abiding under the water.  However much I shout thou nearest me not, owing to the noise of the water, and in spite of my crying to thee, the sound cannot reach thee, because of the clamour of the other frogs.  We must devise some means by which thou mayest know when I come to the brink of the water, and thus mayest be informed of my arrival without my shouting to thee.”

The Frog said:  “Thou speakest the truth.  I, too, have often pondered uneasily, thinking, should my friend come to the brink of the water, how shall I, at the bottom of this fountain, learn his arrival?  And it sometimes happens that I, too, come to the mouth of thy hole, and thou hast gone out from another side, and I have to wait long.  I had intended to have touched somewhat on this subject before, but now the arrangement of it rests with thee.”

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The Talking Beasts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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