The Talking Beasts eBook

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

“Oh, yes,” said the Crane, “there is not the slightest doubt.  My geographical knowledge is extensive, for I have travelled over a great part of the world; so you may depend on my wide knowledge and experience.”

The Fool then let all the water flow into the fields.  The Crane invited his kindred, and they together ate all the big fish left in the tank first, and then, hovering over the fields, picked up all the small fish that had gone out with the water.  A great portion of the crops was swept away; what remained was soon buried in the mud.

The Fool sat on the bank of the lake and wept, saying:  “The Crane’s geography ruined me.”

“My friend,” said the Crane, “my geography was as good as your arithmetic. It is all the same whether you fall into the ditch from this side or that!

The Lion and the Goat

A Lion was eating up one after another the animals of a certain country.  One day an old Goat said:  “We must put a stop to this.  I have a plan by which he may be sent away from this part of the country.”

“Pray act up to it at once,” said the other animals.

The old Goat laid himself down in a cave on the roadside, with his flowing beard and long curved horns.  The Lion on his way to the village saw him, and stopped at the mouth of the cave.

“So you have come, after all,” said the Goat.

“What do you mean?” asked the Lion.

“Why, I have long been lying in this cave.  I have eaten up one hundred elephants, a hundred tigers, a thousand wolves, and ninety-nine lions.  One more lion has been wanting.  I have waited long and patiently.  Heaven has, after all, been kind to me,” said the Goat, and shook his horns and his beard, and made a start as if he were about to spring upon the Lion.

The latter said to himself:  “This animal looks like a Goat, but it does not talk like one, so it is very likely some wicked spirit in this shape.  Prudence often serves us better than valour, so for the present I shall return to the wood,” and he turned back.

The Goat rose up and, advancing to the mouth of the cave, said, “Will you come back to-morrow?”

“Never again,” said the Lion.

“Do you think I shall be able to see you, at least, in the wood to-morrow?”

“Neither in the wood, nor in this neighbourhood any more,” said the Lion, and running to the forest, soon left it with his kindred.

The animals in the country, not hearing him roar any more, gathered around the Goat, and said:  “The wisdom of one doth save a host.”

The Man and His Piece of Cloth

A Man in the East, where they do not require as much clothing as in colder climates, gave up all worldly concerns and retired to a wood, where he built a hut and lived in it.

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