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

“Oh, very well,” said the Fox, contemptuously, “do as you like, and still the race will be so easy for me that I will not even need to try.  Your many legs and your stupid head do not go very well together.  Now, if I had my sense and all of your legs, no creature in the forest could outrun me.  As it is, there are none that can outwit me.  I am known as the sharp-witted.  Even man says, ‘Qui-kwat-wui-lai’ (sly as a fox).  So do what you will, stupid one.”

“If you will let me tie your beautiful tail down so it will stay,” said the Crab, “I am sure I can win the race.”

“Oh, no, you cannot,” said the Fox.  “But I will prove to even your stupid, slow brain that it will make no difference.  Now, how do you wish that I should hold my tail?”

Said the Crab:  “If you will allow me to hang something on your tail to hold it down, I am sure you cannot run faster than I.”

“Do as you like,” said the Fox.

“Allow me to come nearer,” said the Crab, “and when I have it fastened to your tail, I will say ‘Ready!’ Then you are to start.”

So the Crab crawled behind and caught the Fox’s tail with his pincers and said, “Ready!” The Fox ran and ran until he was tired.  And when he stopped, there was the Crab beside him.

“Where are you now?” said the Crab.  “I thought you were to run ten times faster than I. You are not even ahead of me with all your boasting.”

The Fox, panting for breath, hung his head in shame and went away where he might never see the crab again.

EE-SZE (Meaning):  A big, proud, boastful mouth, is a worse thing for a man than it is for a fox.

The Mule and the Lion

One night the Lion was very hungry, but as the creatures of the wilderness knew and feared him even from afar, he could not find food.  So he went to visit the young Mule that lived near the farmer’s house, and when he saw him he smiled blandly and asked, “What do you eat, fair Lii, to make you so sleek and fat?  What makes your hair so smooth and beautiful?  I think your master gives you tender fresh grass and fat young pig to eat.”

The Mule answered, “No, I am fat because I am gentle.  My hair is beautiful because I do not fight with other creatures.  But why do you come here, Sii?  Are you hungry?  I believe you are seeking for food.”

The Lion said, “Oh, no, I am not hungry.  I only walk around to get the cool, fresh air.  And then the night is very beautiful.  The moon hangs up in the clear sky with the stars and makes a soft light, and so I came to visit you.  Would you not like to take a walk with me?  I will take you to visit my friend, the Pig.  I never go to his house alone; I always take a friend with me.”

The Mule asked, “Shall we go to any other place?”

“Yes,” answered the Lion, “I think we will go to visit another friend of mine who lives not far away.”

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