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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 215 pages of information about The Talking Beasts.

“Brother Toad, I have looked at thy whole body, and not seen any wale of a stick:  thou art right.”

The Toad said to the Rat.  “As thou disputest with me, and maintainest that thou canst do what I do, get up again, and go to where the great men are sitting; and if on seeing thee, these men do not say anything to thee, so that I see thee come back to me again with a sound skin, then I know that thou canst do more than I.”

The Rat, attending to what the Toad said, arose, got himself ready, and when he saw the great men sitting under the tree, he went toward them; but on observing him, they said:  “Here comes a Rat,” and they every one took a stick, and pursued him in order to kill him; so he ran away, and as he ran, a man with a stick pursued him; saying, “I will not let this Rat escape.”

The Rat ran until his strength failed him.  The man pursued him with his stick, to kill him; and having come near to him, he took his stick, and struck at him, with the purpose of killing him; but the stick did not hit him, and God saved him, his time being not yet arrived, by showing him a hole into which he crept.  When the man saw that he had gotten into the hole, he went back and returned home.  The Rat, on seeing that the man had gone home, came again out of the hole, and went to the Toad, saying to him: 

“Brother Toad, I indeed at first disputed with thee, saying that I could do more than thou; but, as for my disputing with thee, thou in truth canst do more than I:  when the people saw thee, they did not say a word to thee, but when they saw me, they wished to kill me; if our Lord had not helped me and showed me a hole, they, on seeing me, would not have left, but killed me; thou surpassest me in greatness.”

At that time the Rat entreated our Lord and he placed it in a hole, but the Toad he placed in the open air.  The Rat does not come out by day, before any one; as to the time when it comes out at night, it stretches its head out of the hole, and when it does not see anybody it comes out to seek its food.

As for the Toad, it comes out by day and by night, at any time, whenever it likes; it comes out and goes about, not anything likes to molest it; it is bitter, no one eats it on account of its bitterness; the Toad is left alone; therefore it goes about wherever it likes.

The Rat does not come out of its hole and walk about except at night.

What the Toad and the Rat did, this I heard, and have told to thee.  This fable of the Toad and the Rat is now finished.

The Lion and the Wild Dog

The Lion said to the Wild Dog that he did not fear any one in the forest except these four, viz., tree-leaves, grass, flies, and earth, and when the Wild Dog said, “There is certainly one stronger than thou,” the Lion replied to the Wild Dog, “I kill the young ones of the elephant, the wild cow, and the leopard, and bring them to my children to be eaten.  If I give one roar, all the beasts of the forest tremble, every one of them, on hearing me roar; none is greater than I within this forest.”

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