The Talking Beasts eBook

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

The Mouse replied:  “I have got hold of the thread of a plan, and it appears to me the best thing to get a long string, and to fasten one end to thy foot, and tie the other tight around my own, in order that when I come to the water’s edge and shake the string, thou mayest know what I want; and if thou, too, art so kind as to come to the door of my cell, I may also get information by thy jerking the string.”  Both parties agreed to this, and the knot of friendship was in this manner firmly secured, and they were also kept informed of one another’s condition.  One day, the Mouse came to the water’s edge to seek the Frog, in order to renew their friendly converse.  All of a sudden a Crow, like an unforeseen calamity, flew down from the air, and snatching up the Mouse, soared aloft, with him.  The string which was tied to the leg of the Mouse drew forth the Frog from the bottom of the water, and, as the other leg was fastened to the Frog’s leg, he was suspended head downward in the air.  The Crow flew on, holding the Mouse in its beak, and lower still the Frog hanging head downward.  People witnessing that extraordinary sight were uttering in the road various jokes and sarcasms:  “A strange thing this, that contrary to his wont, a crow has made a prey of a frog!” and “Never before was a frog the prey of a crow!”

The Frog was howling out in reply:  “Now, too, a Frog is not the prey of a Crow, but from the bad luck of associating with a Mouse, I have been caught in this calamity, and he who associates with a different species deserves a thousand times as much.”

And this story carries with it this beneficial advice:  That no one ought to associate with one of a different race, in order that, like the Frog, he may not be suspended on the string of calamity.

The Crow and the Partridge

It is related that one day a Crow was flying and saw a Partridge, which was walking gracefully on the ground with a quick step and graceful gait that enchanted the heart of the looker-on.

The Crow was pleased with the gait of the Partridge, and amazed at its agility.  The desire of walking in the same manner fixed itself in his mind, and the insane longing to step proudly, after this fascinating fashion, made its appearance.  He forthwith girt his loins in attendance on the Partridge, and abandoning sleep and food, gave himself up to that arduous occupation, and kept continually running in the traces of the Partridge and gazing on its progress.

One day the Partridge said:  “O crazy, black-faced one!  I observe that thou art ever hovering about me, and art always watching my motions.  What is it that thou dost want?”

The Crow replied:  “O thou of graceful manners and sweet smiling face, know that having conceived a desire to learn thy gait, I have followed thy steps for a long time past, and wish to acquire thy manner of walking, in order that I may place the foot of preeminence on the head of my fellows.”

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The Talking Beasts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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