THE FOX AND THE CROW by Aesop and La
A fox once saw a Crow fly off with a piece of cheese in its beak and
settle on a branch of a tree. "That's for me, as I am a Fox," said Master
Reynard, and he walked up to the foot of the tree. "Good day, Mistress
Crow," he cried. "How well you are looking to-day: how glossy your feathers;
how bright your eyes. I feel sure your voice must surpass that of other
birds, just as your figure does; let me hear but one song from you that
I may greet you as the Queen of Birds." The Crow lifted up her head
and began to caw her best, but the moment she opened her mouth the piece
of cheese fell to the ground, only to be snapped up by Master Fox. "That
will do," said he. "That was all I wanted. In exchange for your cheese
I will give you a piece of advice for the future --
DO NOT TRUST FLATTERERS.
THE BALD MAN AND THE FLY by Aesop
by Susan Bingham
There was once a Bald Man who sat down after work on a hot summer's
day. A Fly came up and kept buzzing about his bald pate, and stinging
him from time to time. The Man did not move. Again the Fly tormented
him, but the Man continued to sit perfectly still. The reason?:
YOU WILL ONLY INJURE YOURSELF IF YOU TAKE NOTICE OF DESPICABLE ENEMIES.
ANDROCLES AND THE LION by Aesop and La
adapted by Susan Bingham
An escaped slave named Androcles was walking in the forest. As he was
wandering about there he came upon a Lion lying down moaning and groaning.
At first he turned to flee, but finding that the Lion did not pursue
him, he turned back and went up to him. As he came near, the Lion put
out his paw, which was all swollen and bleeding, and Androcles found
that a huge thorn had got into it, and was causing all the pain. He
pulled out the thorn and bound up the paw of the Lion, who was soon
able to rise and lick the hand of Androcles like a dog. Suddenly hunters
appeared. Both Androcles and the Lion were captured, and the slave was
sentenced to be thrown to the Lion, after the latter had been kept without
food for several days. The Emperor and all his Court came to see the
spectacle, and Androcles was led out into the middle of the arena. Soon
the Lion was let loose from his den, and rushed bounding and roaring
toward his victim. But as soon as he came near to Androcles he recognized
his friend, and fawned upon him, and licked his hands like a friendly
dog. The Emperor was not at all happy with this behavior and banished
them both from his kingdom.
GRATITUDE IS THE SIGN OF NOBLE SOULS.
THE TREE AND THE REED by Aesop
"Well, little one," said a Tree to a Reed that was growing at its foot,
"why do you not plant your feet deeply in the ground, and raise your
head bodly in the air as I do?" "I am contented with my lot," said the
Reed. "I may not be so grand, but I think I am safer." "Safer!" sneered
the Tree. "Who shall pluck me up by the roots or bow my head to the
ground?" But it soon had to repent of its boasting, for a hurricane
arose which tore it up from its roots, and cast it a useless log on
the ground, while the little Reed, bending to the force of the wind,
soon stood upright again when the storm had passed over.
OBSCURITY OFTEN BRINGS SAFETY.
THE LABORER AND THE NIGHTINGALE by Aesop
A Nightingale was singing beautifully. A Laborer, wanting to keep her
song near him always, trapped her and threatened to put her in a cage.
"Now that I have caught you, you shall always sing to me," he said.
"Never! No, never!" the Nightingale cried. "A nightingale never sings
in a cage." "Then I will have to eat you! I have heard that the nightingale
on toast is very tasty!" the Laborer yelled back. "Nay, do not kill
me, but set me free, and I'll tell you things worth more than me! Secrets!
I will tell you things you have always wanted to know!" The Laborer,
tempted by this promise, let the Nightingale go. She flew to a safe
distance and then said, "Here are the three things I promised to tell
you: The first is: never believe a captive's promise. And the second
is: keep what you have. And the third is: sorrow not over what is lest
THE THINGS THE NIGHTINGALE TOLD TO THE LABORER ARE THE MORALS OF THIS
THE TWO CRABS by Aesop
adapted by Susan
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 mother started off,
walking in exactly the same crooked way she had before. The daughter
followed behind, imitating her perfectly, walking exactly as she had
EXAMPLE IS THE BEST PRECEPT.
THE GOOSE WITH THE GOLDEN EGG by Aesop
adapted by Susan Bingham
One day a countryman going to the nest of his Goose found there an egg
all yellow and glittering. When he took it up it was as heavy as lead
and he was going to throw it away, because he thought a trick had been
played upon him. But he took it home on second thoughts, and soon found
to his delight that it was an egg of pure gold. Every morning the same
thing occurred, and he soon became rich by selling his eggs. As he grew
rich he grew greedy; and thinking to get at once all the gold the Goose
could give, he killed it and opened it only to find -- nothing.
GREED OFT O'ERREACHES ITSELF.
THE WIND AND THE SUN by Aesop and La
The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly
they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun said, "I see
a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveller
to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin."
So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard
as it could upon the traveller. But the harder he blew the more closely
did the traveller wrap his cloak around him, till at last the Wind had
to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory
upon the traveller, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak
KINDNESS EFFECTS MORE THAN SEVERITY.
WHISPERING BIRD by Susan Bingham
in loving memory of Jamie Botwick
A little bird could not sing loudly because she had been sick. The members
of her Flock made fun of her because of this. They would not play with
her and would not listen to what she had to say. One day a Hawk came
near the Flock. "Friends!" Whispering Bird cried. "There's danger about!"
But the Flock did not listen. The Hawk came and grabbed a little Bird
from the Flock and took her away to eat her. The Flock wished they had
listened to Whispering Bird.
JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE SPEAKS SOFTLY DOES NOT MEAN SHE HAS NOTHING TO
THE RICH MAN AND THE SHOEMAKER by La
A Shoemaker is very happy fixing shoes. An unhappy Rich Man lives near
him and hates to hear the Shoemaker sing, so he decided to give the
Shoemaker a little bag of gold. The Shoemaker accepts the gifts. He
stops fixing shoes and spends all his time counting his gold. He stops
singing, and this delights the Rich Man. Soon the Shoemaker realizes
that he is not happy. He returns the gold to the Rich Man (who is very
surprised), returns to his workbench, and starts fixing shoes again.
He grows happy and starts to sing. "
RICHES DO NOT ALWAYS MAKE ONE HAPPY.