The Talking Beasts eBook

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

The Stork was cunning; she saw them without their knowing it.  They sang, as they dragged her away: 

“Drag her and leave her!  Drag her and leave her!”

The Stork did not speak to them, as they all dragged her away, although she saw them.  Now when they had carried her far away, the Stork opened her eyes, which when they saw they all began to run away.  As soon as the Stork saw that the Toads had begun to run away, she arose, and pursued them; having overtaken one, she took and swallowed it, and went on taking and swallowing them.  The Toads kept running, but by the time they would have got home the Stork had swallowed them all, one by one.  She had filled her bag, and then started on her way home.  As soon as her children saw her, they all ran to their mother, saying, “Our mother has brought us food.”  When they came their mother threw all the Toads in her bag down to her children, and her children ate them, so that their hunger was appeased.

The Stork arose, went to her friend, and said: 

“My friend, what thou toldest me yesterday is excellent:  I went and lay down by the side of the brook, and when the Toads saw me in the morning, they thought I was dead; they came, dragged me along, and when they had carried me far away, not knowing that I was wiser than they and thinking that I was dead, I opened mine eyes to look at them; but on seeing me open mine eyes, they all began to run away.  Then I arose, pursued them, and when I had overtaken one, I took and swallowed it; and when I had overtaken a second I took and swallowed it; so by the time they would have reached home I had swallowed them all, and filled my bag with them.  I brought them to my children, and when my children were around me, I threw the Toads before them out of the bag and they ate them, that their hunger was appeased.”

She also thanked her friend, saying:  “God bless thee; thou hast taught me an excellent device.”

Thus the Stork and her friend devised a plan, and thus they were able to maintain their children while the Toads were sitting in their house.

So now, when the Toads are croaking in a brook, and they see any one come, they are all quite silent, supposing that a Stork is coming.

This fable of the Stork and Toads, which I heard, is now finished.

The Rat and the Toad

The Toad said to the Rat, “I can do more than thou.”

The Rat replied to the Toad:  “Thou dost not know how to run; having flung thyself anywhere thou stoppest there.  This is all thy run; and wilt thou say that thou canst do more than I?”

When the Toad had heard the words of the Rat he said to him:  “If, according to thy opinion, I cannot do more than thou, thou shalt see what I will begin to do to-morrow; and if thou beginnest and doest the same, without anything happening to thee, thou canst do more than I.”

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The Talking Beasts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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