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

“So you see the Turtle is a useful creature in the world, even to Chickens.  Why do you not leave me in peace?  As I must stay here against my will, it is not right that your children should trouble me.  Sometimes they take all my rice and I go hungry, for our master will not allow me to go outside of this fence to hunt food for myself.  I never come to your house and bother you, but your children will not even let me live in peace in the little corner our master gave me.  If I had a few of my own people here with me, as you have, I think you would not trouble me.  But I have only myself, while you are many.

“Yesterday your children scolded me and disturbed my peace.  To-day you come again; and to-morrow and many to-morrows will see generations and still more unhatched generations of Chickens coming here to scold me, I fear; for the length of life of a cackling hen is as a day to me—­a Mountain Turtle.  I know the heaven is large, I know the earth is large and made for all creatures alike.  But you think the heavens and the earth were both made for you and your Chickens only.  If you could drive me away to-day you would try to-morrow to drive the dog away, and in time you would think the master himself ought not to have enough of your earth and air to live in.  This barnyard is large enough for birds, chickens, ducks, geese, and pigs.  It makes our master happy to have us all here.”

The Chickens went away ashamed.  Talking to each other about it, they said:  “The Turtle is right.  It is foolish to want everything.  We barnyard creatures must live at peace with each other until we die.  The barnyard is not ours; we use it only a little while.”

EE-SZE (Meaning):  The Creator made the world for all to use, and, while using it, the strong should not try to drive out the weak.

The Proud Fox and the Crab

One day a Fox said to a Crab:  “Crawling thing, did you ever run in all your life?”

“Yes,” said the Crab, “I run very often from the mud to the grass and back to the river.”

“Oh, shame!” said the Fox, “that is no distance to run.  How many feet and legs have you?  I have only four.  Why, if I had as many feet as you have, I would run at least six times as fast as you do.  Did you know that you are really a very slow, stupid creature?  Though I have only four feet I run ten times as far as you do.  I never heard of any one with so many feet as you have, running so slowly.”

The Crab said:  “Would you like to run a race with a stupid creature like me?  I will try to run as fast as you.  I know I am small, so suppose we go to the scales and see how much heavier you are.  As you are ten times larger than I, of course you will have to run ten times faster.

“Another reason why you can run so fast is because you have such a fine tail and hold it so high.  If you would allow me to put it down, I do not think you would run any faster than I.”

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