The Talking Beasts eBook

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

The Hen said to the people of the town:  “God bless you:  you have taken me out of the Cat’s mouth.”

The people of the town said to her:  “To-day our Lord has delivered thee, but for the future do thou no more make friendship with the Cat.  The Cat is too cunning for thee:  beware of the Cat in future!”

I have heard old people say, that on that day the cats and the fowls dissolved their friendship.  This is finished.

The Stork and the Toad

A Stork went and laid eggs in a tree, brooded and hatched young ones.  Then she left and went to seek food for her little ones; but she did not get any food, and all her little ones were crying for hunger.  The Stork did not know what to do.  So she arose one day, went to her friend, and said, “My friend, I am come to thee.”

Her friend said:  “What dost thou want that thou art come to me?”

She replied to her friend:  “My children are hungry, and I have no food; therefore, am I come to thee; teach me a device!”

Her friend said to her:  “Arise in the morning, go to the brook, and see whether there are Toads in it; then come back, and on the following morning go again, and lie down by the side of the brook; stretch out thy legs and thy wings, shut thine eyes, keep quite silent, and lie in one place until the Toads come out in the morning, and, after seeing thee, go home and call all their people to come, to take thee by the wing and to drag thee away.  But do not thou speak to them—­be perfectly quiet.”

She listened to what her friend said, and at night-quiet she arose, and went to the brook, when all the Toads were singing; but as soon as they saw her, they went and hid themselves at the bottom of the water.  So the Stork went home and slept, and having slept she arose up early and went back again to the brook, without being observed by the Toads; she went softly, and lay down by the side of the water, pretending to be dead, stretched out her legs, her wings, and her mouth, and shut her eyes.  Thus she lay, until at break of day when one Toad arose, and, finding that it was day, came forth and saw the Stork lying.  He went back, and called all the Toads: 

“Come, behold, I have seen something dead, lying at the door of our house, and when I had seen it I came back to call you.”

So all the Toads arose and followed him, and having come out, they all saw a Stork lying at the door of their house; but they did not know that the Stork was more cunning than themselves.  They returned home, called a council together and said:  “What shall we do?  Some one who came, we do not know whence, has died before the gate of our town.”  All their great men answered, and said, “Arise all of you, go out, drag this dead body far away, and leave it there.”

So they all arose, went, and, taking the Stork by its wings and legs, dragged it away.

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The Talking Beasts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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