Aesop’s Fables

1. The Ant and the Dove

When thirsty, an ant walked to the river’s edge to drink, but it almost drowned in the swift current. A Dove perched on a tree overlooking the river plucked a leaf and let it fall into the stream adjacent to her. The Ant got on it and was able to float to the bank without getting wet. Shortly thereafter a bird-catcher arrived and stood beneath the tree, and put his lime-twigs for the Dove, which sat on the branches. The Ant, realising his purpose, stung him in the foot. The bird-catcher flung the twigs down in frustration, and the Dove took off at the sound and flew away.

2. The Ants and the Grasshopper

The ants took advantage of a beautiful day in the middle of winter to finish drying the grain that they had gathered throughout the summer. A grasshopper that was almost starving to death came by and pleaded with everyone, who would listen, for some food. The ants confronted him with the question,

“Why did you not store food away throughout the summer?”

He said, “I did not have sufficient leisure.” “Singing helped me get through the days.”

Then, in a mocking tone, they replied, “If you were stupid enough to sing all summer, you must dance supperless to bed in the winter.”

3. The Ape and the two Travellers.

Two men were traveling together when they happened across the realm of apes by complete accident. One of the men was known for telling the truth at all times, while the other never said anything but falsehoods. One of the apes, who had self-promoted to the position of the king of the apes, gave the order for them to be apprehended and brought before him so that he could find out what people thought of him among humans.

At the same time, he gave the order for all of the apes to be lined up in a long row on his right hand and on his left, and he also ordered that a throne be set up for himself, as was the norm for men. After all of these preparations, he gave the signal for the two men to be brought before him, and he welcomed them by asking, “What kind of a king do I appear to you to be, O strangers?”

The Lying Traveler responded by saying, “You strike me as the most powerful ruler.”

“And how would you rate the people who are in close proximity to me?”

He responded by saying, “These are honourable associates of yourselves, suitable at the very least to be ambassadors and commanders of armies.”

Because the ape and all of his court were pleased with the deception, they issued a directive that a magnificent gift be presented to the flatterer. As a result of this, the true traveler had the following thought:

“If such a large prize may be granted for a falsehood, with what gift may I not be rewarded if, according to my tradition, I speak the truth?”

The ape instantly switched its attention to the human. “And, Lord, tell me how I and these friends of mine around me seem to you.”

The honest traveller told so, “Thou art a highly excellent ape, and all these of thy comrades following thy example are good apes too.” “Thou art,” he added, “a most excellent ape.”

When the King of the Apes heard these things, he became furious and handed him over to be ripped apart by the fangs and claws of his comrades.


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