THE BEAR AND THE TWO TRAVELERS

- By Aesop
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Aesop (/ˈiːsɒp/ EE-sop or /ˈeɪsɒp/ AY-sop; Greek: Αἴσωπος, Aísopos; c. 620–564 BCE) was a Greek fabulist and storyteller credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop's Fables. Although his existence remains unclear and no writings by him survive, numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day. Many of the tales are characterized by animals and inanimate objects that speak, solve problems, and generally have human characteristics. Scattered details of Aesop's life can be found in ancient sources, including Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. An ancient literary work called The Aesop Romance tells an episodic, probably highly fictional version of his life, including the traditional description of him as a strikingly ugly slave (δοῦλος) who by his cleverness acquires freedom and becomes an adviser to kings and city-states. Older spellings of his name have included Esop(e) and Isope. Depictions of Aesop in popular culture over the last 2,500 years have included many works of art and his appearance as a character in numerous books, films, plays, and television programs.

THE BEAR AND THE TWO TRAVELERS

"Cinnamon Black Bear" by Valerie is licensed under CC by-NC-ND 2.0.

Two men were traveling together, when a Bear suddenly met them on their path. One of them climbed up quickly into a tree and concealed himself in the branches. The other, seeing that he must be attacked, fell flat on the ground, and when the Bear came up and felt him with his snout, and smelt him all over, he held his breath, and feigned the appearance of death as much as he could. The Bear soon left him, for it is said he will not touch a dead body. When he was quite gone, the other Traveler descended from the tree, and jocularly inquired of his friend what it was the Bear had whispered in his ear. "He gave me this advice," his companion replied. "Never travel with a friend who deserts you at the approach of danger."

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Word Lists:

Jocular : fond of or characterized by joking; humorous or playful

Snout : the projecting nose and mouth of an animal, especially a mammal

Feigned : simulated or pretended; insincere

Smelt : extract (metal) from its ore by a process involving heating and melting

Deserts : a person's worthiness or entitlement to reward or punishment

Concealed : kept secret; hidden

Advice : guidance or recommendations offered with regard to prudent future action

Descend : move or fall downward

Branch : a part of a tree which grows out from the trunk or from a bough

Whisper : speak very softly using one's breath without one's vocal cords, especially for the sake of privacy

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Rating: B

Words: 1040

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