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THE LION, JUPITER, AND THE ELEPHANT

THE LION, JUPITER, AND THE ELEPHANT

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214. THE PIG AND THE SHEEP

A pig found his way into a meadow where a flock of sheep were grazing. The shepherd caught him,

and was proceeding to carry him off to the butcher’s when he set up a loud squealing and struggled to

get free. The sheep rebuked him for making such a to-do, and said to him, “The shepherd catches us

regularly and drags us off just like that, and we don’t make any fuss.” “No, I dare say not,” replied the

pig, “but my case and yours are altogether different. He only wants you for wool, but he wants me for

bacon.”



215. THE GARDENER AND HIS DOG

A gardener’s dog fell into a deep well, from which his master used to draw water for the plants in his

garden with a rope and a bucket. Failing to get the dog out by means of these, the gardener went down

into the well himself in order to fetch him up. But the dog thought he had come to make sure of

drowning him; so he bit his master as soon as he came within reach, and hurt him a good deal, with

the result that he left the dog to his fate and climbed out of the well, remarking, “It serves me quite

right for trying to save so determined a suicide.”



216. THE RIVERS AND THE SEA

Once upon a time all the rivers combined to protest against the action of the sea in making their

waters salt. “When we come to you,” said they to the sea, “we are sweet and drinkable ; but when

once we have mingled with you, our waters become as briny and unpalatable as your own.” The sea

replied shortly, “Keep away from me, and you’ll remain sweet.”



217. THE LION IN LOVE

A lion fell deeply in love with the daughter of a cottager and wanted to marry her. But her father was

unwilling to give her to so fearsome a husband, and yet didn’t want to offend the lion; so he hit upon

the following expedient. He went to the lion and said, “I think you will make a very good husband for

my daughter; but I cannot consent to your union unless you let me draw your teeth and pare your nails,

for my daughter is terribly afraid of them.” The lion was so much in love that he readily agreed that

this should be done. When once, however, he was thus disarmed, the cottager was afraid of him no

longer, but drove him away with his club.



218 THE BEEKEEPER

A thief found his way into an apiary when the beekeeper was away, and stole all the honey. When the

keeper returned and found the hives empty, he was very much upset and stood staring at them for some

time. Before long the bees came back from gathering honey, and, finding their hives overturned and

the keeper standing by, they made for him with their stings. At this he fell into a passion and cried,

“You ungrateful scoundrels, you let the thief who stole my honey get off scot-free, and then you go and

sting me who have always taken such care of you!”



When you hit back make sure you have got the right man.



219. THE WOLF AND THE HORSE

A wolf on his rambles came to a field of oats, but, not being able to eat them, he was passing on his

way when a horse came along. “Look,” said the wolf, “here’s a fine field of oats. For your sake I

have left it untouched, and I shall greatly enjoy the sound of your teeth munching the ripe grain.” But

the horse replied, “If wolves could eat oats, my fine friend, you would hardly have indulged your ears

at the cost of your belly.”



There is no virtue in giving to others what is useless to oneself.



THE WOLF AND THE HORSE



220. THE BAT, THE BRAMBLE, AND THE SEAGULL

A bat, a bramble, and a seagull went into partnership and determined to go on a trading voyage

together. The bat borrowed a sum of money for his venture; the bramble laid in a stock of clothes of

various kinds; and the seagull took a quantity of lead. And so they set out. By and by a great storm

came on, and their boat with all the cargo went to the bottom, but the three travelers managed to reach

land. Ever since then the seagull flies to and fro over the sea, and every now and then dives below the

surface looking for the lead he’s lost; while the bat is so afraid of meeting his creditors that he hides

away by day and only comes out at night to feed; and the bramble catches hold of the clothes of

everyone who passes by, hoping some day to recognize and recover the lost garments.



All men are more concerned to recover what they lose than to acquire what they lack.



221. THE DOG AND THE WOLF

A dog was lying in the sun before a farmyard gate when a wolf pounced upon him and was just going

to eat him up. But he begged for his life and said, “You see how thin I am and what a wretched meal I

should make you now. But if you will only wait a few days, my master is going to give a feast. All the

rich scraps and pickings will fall to me, and I shall get nice and fat. Then will be the time for you to

eat me.” The wolf thought this was a very good plan and went away. Sometime afterwards he came to

the farmyard again and found the dog lying out of reach on the stable roof. “Come down,” he called,

“and be eaten. You remember our agreement?” But the dog said coolly, “My friend, if ever you catch

me lying down by the gate there again, don’t you wait for any feast.”



Once bitten, twice shy.



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