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

So he took one sense and gave to the Hare, saying, “If thou takest home this one sense, which I give thee, it will preserve thee.  When thou sleepest by day open thy eyes; then if one comes to thee, thinking, ’I have got meat, I will take it,’ and sees that thine eyes are open, he will think that thou art not asleep, will leave thee alone and go; but when thou goest and liest down without sleeping, then shut thine eyes, and if one sees thee, and sees that thine eyes are shut, when he comes close to thee, saying, ‘I have got meat, I will take it,’ then thou wilt see him, rise up and run away into thy forest.  This one sense will be enough for thee; but what remains I will keep in mine own house.”  The Hare took his one sense and went home.

Now if one sees a Hare lying with his eyes open, it sleeps, but if its eyes are closed it is awake, and does not sleep.  By this one sense which it has got the Hare is preserved.

The Weasel took all the sense that was left and hid it in his house.  The Weasel surpasses all the beasts of the field in sense.  When you see the Weasel, and say, “There the King of Sense has come out,” and drive it before you, saying, “I will catch it,” it runs into its hole; and if you begin to dig up the hole, it comes out behind you, and runs until you see it no more.  This is why now if one sees a Weasel, one calls it “The King of Sense.”

Amongst all the beasts of the field he distributed sense only little by little, and this is what they now have.

This word, showing how sense came abroad in the world, and the meaning of which I have heard, is now finished.

What Employment Our Lord Gave to Insects

All the Insects assembled and went to our Lord to seek employment.  On their arrival they said to our Lord, “Thou hast given every one his work; now give us also a work to do, that we may have something to eat.”

Our Lord attended to the request of the Insects, and said to them, “Who will give notice that to-morrow all the Insects are to come?”

The Merchant-insect arose and said to our Lord, “The Cricket can give notice well.”

So our Lord called the Cricket and said to him when he was come, “Go and give notice this evening, when the sun has set, that to-morrow morning all the Insects are to come to me, for I wish to see them.”

The Cricket, obeying our Lord’s command, went back to his house, waited until evening, until the sun set, and as soon as he had seen the setting of the sun, he prepared and arose to give notice.  So when the Cricket had given notice until midnight, our Lord sent a man to him saying:  “Go and tell the Cricket, that there has been much notice, and that it is now enough; else he will have the headache.”  But the Cricket would not hear, he said:  “If I am out they will see me.”  So he went into his hole, stretched only his head out, and began to give notice.  The Cricket went on giving notice until the day dawned; but when it was day he became silent and stopped giving notice.  Then all the Insects arose and went to the prayer-place of our Lord, the Merchant alone being left behind.  To all the Insects who came first, our Lord gave their employment, which they all took and went home.

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