"I am sorry," said the Fox, "the soup is not to your liking."
"Pray do not apologize," said the Stork. "I hope you will return this visit, and come and dine with me soon."
So a day was appointed when the Fox should visit the Stork; but when they were seated at table all that was for their dinner was contained in a very long-necked jar with a narrow mouth, in which the Fox could not insert his snout, so all he could manage to do was to lick the outside of the jar.
"I will not apologize for the dinner," said the Stork:
"ONE BAD TURN DESERVES ANOTHER."
THE CROW AND THE PITCHER
A CROW, half-dead with thirst, came upon a Pitcher which had once been full of water; but when the Crow put its beak into the mouth of the Pitcher he found that only very little water was left in it, and that he could not reach far enough down to get at it.
He tried, and he tried, but at last had to give up in despair.
Then a thought came to him, and he took a pebble and dropped it into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped it into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher.
At last, at last, he saw the water mount up near him; and after casting in a few more pebbles he was able to quench his thirst and save his life.
"LITTLE BY LITTLE DOES THE TRICK."
THE FROGS DESIRING A KING
THE Frogs were living as happy as could be in a marshy swamp that just suited them; they went splashing about caring for nobody and nobody troubling with them. But some of them thought that this was not right, that they should have a King and a proper constitution, so they determined to send up a petition to Jove to give them what they wanted.
"Mighty Jove," they cried, "send unto us a King that will rule over us and keep us in order." Jove laughed at their croaking, and threw down into the swamp a huge Log, which came down-kerplash-into the swamp.
The Frogs were frightened out of their lives by the commotion made in their midst, and all rushed to the bank to look at the horrible monster; but after a time, seeing that it did not move, one or two of the boldest of them ventured out toward the Log, and even dared to touch it; still it did not move. Then the greatest hero of the Frogs jumped upon the Log and commenced dancing up and down upon it, thereupon all the Frogs came and did the same; and for sometime the Frogs went about their business every day without taking the slightest notice of the new King Log lying in their midst.
But this did not suit them, so they sent another petition to Jove, and said to him: "We want a real King; one that will really rule over us."
Now this made Jove angry, so he sent among them a big Stork that soon set to work gobbling them all up. Then the Frogs repented when too late.
"BETTER NO RULE THAN CRUEL RULE."
THE FROG AND THE OX
"OH, FATHER," said a little Frog to the big one sitting by the side of a pool, "I have seen such a terrible monster! It was as big as a mountain, with horns on its head, and a long tail, and it had hoofs divided in two."
"Tush, child, tush," said the old Frog, "that was only Farmer White's Ox. It isn't so big either; he may be a little bit taller than I, but I could easily make myself quite as broad; just you see." So he blew himself out, and blew himself out, and blew himself out. "Was he as big as that?" asked he.
"Oh, much bigger than that," said the young Frog.
Again the old one blew himself out, and asked the young one if the Ox was as big as that.
"Bigger, father, bigger," was the reply.
So the Frog took a deep breath, and blew and blew and blew, and swelled and swelled and swelled. And then he said: "I'm sure the Ox is not as big as ______" But at this moment he burst.
"SELF-CONCEIT MAY LEAD TO SELF-DESTRUCTION."
THE COCK AND THE PEARL
A COCK was once strutting up and down the farmyard among the hens when suddenly he espied something shining and the straw. "Ho! ho!" quoth he, "that's for me," and soon rooted it out from beneath the straw.
What did it turn out to be but a Pearl that by some chance had been lost in the yard? "You may be a treasure," quoth Master Cock, "to men that prize you, but for me I would rather have a single barley corn than a peck of pearls."
"PRECIOUS THINGS ARE FOR THOSE THAT CAN PRIZE THEM."
THE FOX WITHOUT A TAIL
IT happened that a Fox caught its tail in a trap, and in struggling to release himself lost all of it but the stump. At first he was ashamed to show himself among his fellow foxes. But at last he determined to put a bolder face upon his misfortune, and summoned all the foxes to a general meeting to consider a proposal which he had to place before them.
When they had assembled together the Fox proposed that they should all do away with their tails. He pointed out how inconvenient a tail was when they were pursued by their enemies, the dogs; how much it was in the way when they desired to sit down and hold a friendly conversation with one another. He failed to see any advantage in carrying about such a useless encumbrance.
"That is all very well," said one of the older foxes; "but I do not think you would have recommended us to dispense with our chief ornament if you had not happened to lose it yourself."
"DISTRUST INTERESTED ADVICE."
THE FOX AND THE CAT
A FOX was boasting to a Cat of its clever devices for escaping its enemies. "I have a whole bag of tricks," he said, "which contains a hundred ways of escaping my enemies."
"I have only one," said the Cat; "but I can generally manage with that." Just at that moment they heard the cry of a pack of hounds coming toward them, and the Cat immediately scampered up a tree and hid herself in the boughs. "This is my plan," said the Cat. "What are you going to do?" The Fox thought first of one way, then of another, and while he was debating the hounds came nearer and nearer, and at last the Fox in his confusion was caught up by the hounds and soon killed by the huntsmen. Miss Puss, who had been looking on, said:
"BETTER ONE SAFE WAY THAN A HUNDRED
ON WHICH YOU CANNOT
THE DOG IN THE MANGER A DOG looking out for its afternoon nap jumped into the Manger of an Ox and lay there cosily upon the straw. But soon the Ox, returning from its afternoon work, came up to the Manger and wanted to eat some of the straw. The Dog in a rage, being awakened from its slumber, stood up and barked at the Ox, and whenever it came near attempted to bite it.
At last the Ox had to give up the hope of getting at the straw, and went away muttering:
"AH, PEOPLE OFTEN GRUDGE OTHERS
WHAT THEY CANNOT ENJOY
THE FOX AND THE GOAT
By an unlucky chance a Fox fell into a deep well from which he could not get out. A Goat passed by shortly afterward, and asked the Fox what he was doing down there. "Oh, have you not heard?" said the Fox; "there is going to be a great drought, so I jumped down here in order to be sure to have water by me. Why don't you come down, too?" The Goat thought well of this advice, and jumped down into the well. But the Fox immediately jumped on her back, and by putting his foot on her long horns managed to jump up to the edge of the well. "Good-by, friend," said the Fox ;-"remember next time,