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 aimed a blow at his little enemy, but his palm came on his head instead;
again the Fly tormented him, but this time the Man was wiser and said:
"You will only injure yourself if you take notice of despicable enemies."
The Bald Man and the Fly Fable
But soon the Lion seemed to recover, and came to the mouth of his cave, and saw the Fox, who had been waiting outside for some time.
"Why do you not come to pay your respects to me?" said the Lion to the Fox.
"I beg your Majesty's pardon," said the Fox, "but I noticed the track of the animals that have already come to you; and while I see many hoof-marks going in, I see none coming out. Till the animals that have entered your cave come out again I prefer to remain in the open air."
It is easier to get into the enemy's toils than out again
The Lion, the Fox, and the Beasts Fable
In the old days, when men were allowed to have many wives, a middle-aged Man had one wife that was old and one that was young; each loved him very much, and desired to see him like herself. Now the Man's hair was turning grey, which the young Wife did not like, as it made him look too old for her husband. So every night
she used to comb his hair and pick out the white ones. But the elder Wife saw her husband growing grey with great pleasure, for she did not like to be mistaken for his mother. So every morning she used to arrange his hair and pick out as many of the black ones as she could. The consequence was the Man soon found himself
Yield to all and you will soon have nothing to yield
The Man and His Two Wives Fable
One fine day it occurred to the Members of the Body that they were doing all the work and the Belly was having all the food. So they held a meeting, and after a long discussion, decided to strike work till the Belly consented to take its proper share of
the work. So for a day or two, the Hands refused to take the food, the Mouth refused to receive it, and the Teeth had no work to do. But after a day or two the Members began to find that they themselves were not in a very active condition: the Hands could hardly move, and the Mouth was all parched and dry, while the Legs
were unable to support the rest. So thus they found that even the Belly in its dull quiet way was doing necessary work for the Body, and that all must work together or the Body will go to pieces.
The Belly and the Members Fable
A Man had lost his way in a wood one bitter winter's night. As he was roaming about, a Satyr came up to him, and finding that he had lost his way, promised to give him a lodging for the night, and guide him out of the forest in the morning. As he went along to the Satyr's cell, the Man raised both his hands to his mouth and kept on blowing at them.
"What do you do that for?" said the Satyr.
"My hands are numb with the cold," said the Man, "and my breath warms them."
After this they arrived at the Satyr's home, and soon the Satyr put a smoking dish of porridge before him. But when the Man raised his spoon to his mouth he began blowing upon it.
"And what do you do that for?" said the Satyr.
"The porridge is too hot, and my breath will cool it."
"Out you go," said the Satyr. "I will have nought to do with a man who can blow hot and cold with the same breath."
The Man and the Satyr Fable
At a country fair there was a Buffoon who made all the people laugh by imitating the cries of various animals. He finished off by squeaking so like a pig that the spectators thought that he had a porker concealed about him. But a Countryman who stood by said:
"Call that a pig's squeak! Nothing like it. You give me till tomorrow and I will show you what it's like."
The audience laughed, but next day, sure enough, the Countryman appeared on the
stage, and putting his head down squealed so hideously that the spectators hissed and threw stones at him to make him stop.
"You fools!" he cried, "see what you have been hissing," and held up a little pig whose ear he had been pinching to make him utter the squeals.
Men often applaud an imitation and hiss the real thing
The Buffoon and the Countryman Fable
An old man on the point of death summoned his sons around him to give them some parting advice. He ordered his servants to bring in a faggot of sticks, and said to his eldest son:
The son strained and strained, but with all his efforts was unable to break the Bundle. The other sons also tried, but none of them was successful.
"Untie the faggots," said the father, "and each of you take a stick."
When they had done so, he called out to them:
"Now, break," and each stick was easily broken. "You see my meaning," said their father.
Union gives strength
The Bundle of Sticks Fable
A Man came into a Wood one day with an axe in his hand, and begged all the Trees to give him a small branch which he wanted for a particular purpose. The Trees were good-natured and gave him one of their branches. What did the Man do but fix it into the axe head, and soon set to work cutting down tree after tree.
Then the Trees saw how foolish they had been in giving their enemy the means of destroying themselves.
The Man and the Wood Fable
The gods were once disputing whether it was possible for a living being to change its nature.
Jupiter said "Yes," but Venus said "No." So, to try the question, Jupiter turned a Cat into a Maiden, and gave her to a young man for a wife. The wedding was duly performed and the young couple sat down to the wedding-feast.
"See," said Jupiter, to Venus, "how becomingly she behaves. Who could tell that yesterday she was but a Cat? Surely her nature is changed?"
"Wait a minute," replied Venus, and let loose a mouse into the room. No sooner did the bride see this than she jumped up from her seat and tried to pounce upon the mouse.
"Ah, you see," said Venus:
Nature will out
The Cat Maiden Fable
In the old days men used to worship stocks and stones and idols, and prayed to them to give them luck. It happened that a Man had often prayed to a wooden idol he had received from his father, but his luck never seemed to change. He prayed and he
prayed, but still he remained as unlucky as ever. One day in the greatest rage he went to the Wooden God, and with one blow swept it down from its pedestal. The idol broke in two, and what did he see? An immense number of coins flying all over the place.
The Man and the Wooden God Fable