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THE WOLF, THE MOTHER, AND HER CHILD

THE WOLF, THE MOTHER, AND HER CHILD

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113. THE OLD WOMAN AND THE WINE JAR

An old woman picked up an empty wine jar which had once contained a rare and costly wine, and

which still retained some traces of its exquisite bouquet. She raised it to her nose and sniffed at it

again and again. “Ah,” she cried, “how delicious must have been the liquid which has left behind so

ravishing a smell.”



114. THE LIONESS AND THE VIXEN

A lioness and a vixen were talking together about their young, as mothers will, and saying how

healthy and well grown they were, and what beautiful coats they had, and how they were the image of

their parents. “My litter of cubs is a joy to see,” said the fox. And then she added, rather maliciously,

“But I notice you never have more than one.” “No,” said the lioness grimly, “but that one is a lion.”



Quality, not quantity.



115. THE VIPER AND THE FILE

A viper entered a carpenter’s shop, and went from one to another of the tools, begging for something

to eat. Among the . rest, he addressed himself to the file, and asked for the favor of a meal. The file

replied in a tone of pitying contempt, “What a simpleton you must be if you imagine you will get

anything from me, for I invariably take from everyone and never give anything in return.”



The covetous are poor givers.



THE CAT AND THE COCK



116. THE CAT AND THE COCK

A cat pounced on a cock and cast about for some good excuse for making a meal off him, for cats

don’t as a rule eat cocks, and she knew she ought not to. At last she said, “You make a great nuisance



of yourself at night by crowing and keeping people awake, so I am going to make an end of you.” But

the cock defended himself by saying that he crowed in order that men might wake up and set about the

day’s work in good time, and that they really couldn’t very well do without him. “That may be,” said

the cat, “but whether they can or not, I’m not going without my dinner.” And she killed and ate him.



The want of a good excuse never kept a villain from crime.



117. THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE

A hare was one day making fun of a tortoise for being so slow upon his feet. “Wait a bit,” said the

tortoise. “I’ll run a race with you, and I’ll wager that I win.” “Oh, well,” replied the hare, who was

much amused at the idea, “let’s try and see.” And it was soon agreed that the fox should set a course

for them and be the judge. When the time came both started off together, but the hare was soon so far

ahead that he thought he might as well have a rest. So down he lay and fell fast asleep. Meanwhile the

tortoise kept plodding on, and in time reached the goal. At last the hare woke up with a start and

dashed on at his fastest, but only to find that the tortoise had already won the race.



Slow and steady wins the race.



118. THE SOLDIER AND THE HORSE

A soldier gave his horse a plentiful supply of oats in time of war, and tended him with the utmost

care, for he wished . him to be strong to endure the hardships of the field, and swift to bear his

master, when need arose, out of the reach of danger. But when the war was over he employed him on

all sorts of drudgery, bestowing but little attention upon him, and giving him, moreover, nothing but

chaff to eat. The time came when war broke out again, and the soldier saddled and bridled his horse,

and, having put on his heavy coat of mail, mounted him to ride off and take the field. But the poor

half-starved beast sank down under his weight, and said to his rider, “You will have to go into battle

on foot this time. Thanks to hard work and bad food you have turned me from a horse into an ass; and

you cannot in a moment turn me back again into a horse.”



119. THE OXEN AND THE BUTCHERS

Once upon a time the oxen determined to be revenged upon the butchers for the havoc they wrought in

their ranks, and plotted to put them to death on a given day. They were all gathered together

discussing how best to carry out the plan, and the more violent of them were engaged in sharpening

their horns for the fray, when an old ox got up upon his feet and said, “My brothers, you have good

reason, I know, to hate these butchers, but, at any rate, they understand their trade and do what they

have to do without causing unnecessary pain. But if we kill them, others, who have no experience,

will be set to slaughter us, and will by their bungling inflict great sufferings upon us. For you may be

sure that even though all the butchers perish, mankind will never go without their beef.”



120. THE WOLF AND THE LION

A wolf stole a lamb from the flock, and was carrying it off to devour it at his leisure when he met a

lion, who took his prey away from him and walked off with it. He dared not resist, but when the lion

had gone some distance he said, “It is most unjust of you to take what is mine away from me like

that.” The lion laughed and called out in reply, “It was justly yours, no doubt! The gift of a friend,

perhaps, eh?”



121. THE SHEEP, THE WOLF, AND THE STAG

A stag once asked a sheep to lend him a measure of wheat, saying that his friend the wolf would be

his surety. The sheep, however, was afraid that they meant to cheat her; so she excused herself,

saying, “The wolf is in the habit of seizing what he wants and running off with it without paying, and

you, too, can run much faster than I. So how shall I be able to come up with either of you when the

debt falls due?”



Two blacks do not make a white.



122. THE LION AND THE THREE BULLS

Three bulls were grazing in a meadow, and were watched by a lion, who longed to capture and

devour them, but who felt that he was no match for the three so long as they kept together. So he began

by false whispers and malicious hints to foment jealousies and distrust among them. This stratagem

succeeded so well that ere long the bulls grew cold and unfriendly, and finally avoided each other

and fed each one by himself apart. No sooner did the lion see this than he fell upon them one by one

and killed them in turn.



The quarrels of friends are the opportunities of foes.



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