THE FOX AND THE COCK.
A Fox, one day, saw a Cock on the roof of a barn. “Come to me, my dear Master Cock,” said he; “I have always heard you are such a clever fellow; and I want to ask you a riddle.” Glad to hear himself praised, the foolish Cock came down, and the Fox caught him, and ate him in a moment.
The praise of the wicked is always dangerous.
THE GIANT AND THE DWARF.
A Dwarf one day met a Giant. “Let me come with you,” said he.
“Very well,” said the Giant.
When they met robbers, the Giant beat them with his club; but the Dwarf got beaten. At last he began to cry; but the Giant said, “My little man, if you are not strong you must not go out to battle with a Giant.”
We must not set ourselves up as equal to people who are greater and wiser than we.
THE PARTRIDGE AND HER YOUNG.
A Partridge lived in a corn-field. “Mother,” said one of her Chicks, “we must run away from this field; for I heard the owner say ‘I will ask my neighbors to mow that field to-morrow.’” The Partridge said “Never mind.”—“But,” said another Chick, “I since heard him say ‘I will mow the field myself.’”—“Then,” said the Partridge, “we must indeed run away; for this man is going to do his own work.”
THE COCK AND THE JEWEL.
As a Cock was scratching up the straw, in a farm-yard, in search of food for the hens, he hit upon a Jewel that by some chance had found its way there. “Ho!” said he, “you are a very fine thing, no doubt, to those who prize you; but give me a barley-corn before all the pearls in the world.”
The Cock, in this, was sensible; but there are many silly people who despise what is precious only because they cannot understand it.
THE DOG AND THE SHADOW.
A Dog was crossing a river, with a piece of meat in his mouth, when he saw his own shadow reflected in the stream below. Thinking that it was another dog, with a piece of meat, he resolved to make himself master of that also; but in snapping at the supposed treasure he dropped the bit he was carrying, and so lost all.
Grasp at the shadow, and lose the substance;—the common fate of those who hazard a real blessing for a visionary good.
THE DOG AND THE RAT.
A great Dog caught a small but thievish Rat. “O, sir!” said the Rat, “pray let me go. Next year I shall have grown bigger, and then you can kill me.”—“No, no,” said the Dog; “I have got you now, but next year I am not sure of getting you again.”
Check a small fault at once.
THE BEAVER AND THE FLY.
A busy little Beaver had been working for months, arranging his house, by the river side. “Why do you take all that trouble?—said a lazy bluebottle Fly; “I never work.”—“That is the reason,” answered the Beaver, “why so many of you die of cold and hunger, in winter.”
Idleness comes to ruin, at last.
A Farmer went to town, on a market day, and bought five peaches. He gave one to his wife, and one to each of his four sons.
The next day he said to his sons, “Well, what have you done with your peaches?”
“I ate mine,” said the eldest, “and kept the stone....