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The Talking Beasts eBook

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

The Fox Without a Tail

A Fox was once caught in a trap by his tail, and in order to get away was forced to leave it behind him.  Knowing that without a tail he would be a laughing-stock for all his fellows, he resolved to try to induce them to part with theirs.  At the next assembly of Foxes, therefore, he made a speech on the unprofitableness of tails in general, and the inconvenience of a Fox’s tail in particular, adding that he had never felt so easy as since he had given up his own.

When he had sat down, a sly old fellow rose, and waving his long brush with a graceful air, said, with a sneer, that if, like the last speaker, he had been so unfortunate as to lose his tail, nothing further would have been needed to convince him; but till such an accident should happen, he should certainly vote in favour of tails.

The Crab and Its Mother

One fine day two Crabs came out from their home to take a stroll on the sand.  “Child,” said the mother, “you are walking very ungracefully.  You should accustom yourself to walking straight forward without twisting from side to side.”

“Pray, mother,” said the young one, “do but set the example yourself, and I will follow you!”

The Jackdaw with Borrowed Plumes

A Jackdaw, having dressed himself in feathers which had fallen from some Peacocks, strutted about in the company of those birds and tried to pass himself off as one of them.

They soon found him out, however, and pulled their plumes from him so roughly, and in other ways so battered him, that he would have been glad to rejoin his humble fellows, but they, in their turn, would have nothing to do with him, and driving him from their society, told him to remember that it is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.

The Farmer and His Dog

A Farmer who had just stepped into the field to close a gap in one of his fences found on his return the cradle, where he had left his only child asleep, turned upside down, the clothes all torn and bloody, and his Dog lying near it besmeared also with blood.  Convinced at once that the creature had destroyed his child, he instantly dashed out its brains with the hatchet in his hand; when, turning up the cradle, he found the child unhurt and an enormous serpent lying dead on the floor, killed by the faithful Dog, whose courage and fidelity in preserving the life of his son deserved another kind of reward.

These affecting circumstances afforded him a striking lesson upon how dangerous it is hastily to give way to the blind impulse of a sudden passion.

The Fox and the Countryman

A Fox, having been hunted hard and chased a long way, saw a Countryman at work in a wood and begged his assistance to some hiding-place.  The man said he might go into his cottage, which was close by.

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