The Stag at the Pool
saw his shadow
reflected in the water, and greatly admired the size of his horns, but felt angry
with himself for having such weak feet. While he was thus
contemplating himself, a Lion appeared at the pool. The Stag betook himself to flight, and kept himself with ease
at a safe distance
from the Lion, until he entered a wood and became entangled with his horns. The Lion quickly came up with him and caught him. When too late he thus
reproached himself: "Woe is me! How have I deceived myself! These feet which would have saved me I despised, and I gloried in these antlers which have proved my destruction
What is most truly valuable
is often underrated.
The Wolf and the Lamb
A Wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray
from the fold, resolved not to lay violent
hands on him, but to find some plea
, which should justify
to the Lamb himself his right
to eat him. He then addressed him: "Sirrah, last year you grossly insulted me." "Indeed," bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone
of voice, "I was not then born." Then said the Wolf: "You feed in my pasture
." "No, good sir," replied the Lamb, "I have not yet tasted grass." Again said the Wolf: "You drink of my well." "No," exclaimed the Lamb, "I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother's milk is both food and drink to me." On which the Wolf seized him, and ate him up, saying: "Well! I won't remain
supperless, even though you refute
every one of my imputations."
The Dog, the Rooster and the Fox
A Dog and a Rooster, traveling together, took shelter
at night in a thick wood. The Rooster perched himself on a high branch
, while the Dog found a bed at the foot of the tree. When morning dawned, the Rooster, as usual, crowed very loudly. A Fox, hearing the sound
, and wishing to make a breakfast on him, came and stood under the branches, saying how earnestly
he desired to make the acquaintance
of the owner of so sweet a voice.
"If you will admit
me," said he, "I should very much like to spend the day with you."
The Rooster said: "Sir, do me the favor
to go round and wake
up my porter
, that he may open the door, and let you in." On the Fox approaching the tree, the Dog sprang out and caught him and quickly tore him in pieces.
Those who try to entrap others are often caught by their own schemes.