Being a fan of fairytales and folklore, I couldn’t justify passing up an opportunity to read the classic, Aesop’s Fables. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the whole book. Like Grimm’s Fairytales some of the stories were not as catchy as others, but I took the liberty to point out a few fun fables for you to chew on today.
The Cat and the Birds
A cat heard that the birds in an aviary were ailing. So he got himself up as a doctor, and, taking with him a set of the instruments proper to his profession, presented himself at the door, and inquired after the health of the birds. “We shall do very well,” they replied, without letting him in, “when we’ve seen the last of you.” A villain may disguise himself, but he will not deceive the wise.
The Moon and Her Mother
The moon once begged her mother to make her a gown. “How can I?” replied she. “There’s no fitting your figure. At one time you’re a new moon, and at another you’re a full moon; and between whiles you’re neither one nor the other.”
The Lion and the Mouse
A lion asleep in his lair was waked up by a mouse running over his face. Losing his temper he seized it with his paw and was about to kill it. The mouse, terrified, piteously entreated him to spare its life. “Please let me go,” it cried, “and one day I will repay you for your kindness.” The idea of so insignificant a creature ever being able to do anything for him amused the lion so much that he laughed aloud, and good-humoredly let it go. But the mouse’s chance came, after all. One day the lion got entangled in a net which had been spread for game by some hunters, and the mouse heard and recognized his roars of anger and ran to the spot. Without more ado it set to work to gnaw the ropes with its teeth, and succeeded before long in setting the lion free. “There!” said the mouse, “you laughed at me when I promised I would repay you. But now you see, even a mouse can help a lion.”
The North Wind and the Sun
A dispute arose between the north wind and the sun, each claiming that he was stronger than the other. At last they agreed to try their powers upon a traveler, to see which could soonest strip him of his cloak. The north wind had the first try; and, gathering up all his force for the attack, he came whirling furiously down upon the man, and caught up his cloak as though he would wrest it from him by one single effort. But the harder he blew, the more closely the man wrapped it round himself. Then came the turn of the sun. At first he beamed gently upon the traveler, who soon unclasped his cloak and walked on with it hanging loosely about his shoulders. Then he shone forth in his full strength, and the man, before he had gone many steps, was glad to throw his cloak right off and complete his journey more lightly clad. Persuasion is better than force.
The Gnat and the Bull
A gnat alighted on one of the horns of a bull, and remained sitting there for a considerable time. When it had rested sufficiently and was about to fly away, it said to the bull, “Do you mind if I go now?” The bull merely raised his eyes and remarked, without interest, “It’s all one to me. I didn’t notice when you came, and I shan’t know when you go away.” We may often be of more consequences in our own eyes than in the eyes of our neighbors.