LOC = Library Of Congress
The Æsop for Children
Fables from126-146
126. The Flies & the Honey
A jar of honey was upset, and the sticky sweetness flowed out on the table. The sweet smell of the honey soon brought many Flies buzzing around. They did not wait for an invitation. No, indeed; they settled right down, feet and all, to gorge themselves. The Flies were quickly smeared from head to foot with honey. Their wings stuck together. They could not pull their feet out of the sticky mass. And so, they died, giving their lives for the sake of a taste of sweetness.
                                                                                Be not greedy for a little passing pleasure. It may destroy you.
127. The Eagle & the Kite
An Eagle sat high in the branches of a great Oak. She seemed very sad and drooping for an Eagle. A Kite saw her.
"Why do you look so woebegone?" asked the Kite.
"I want to get married," replied the Eagle, "and I can't find a mate who can provide for me as I should like."
"Take me," said the Kite; "I am very strong, stronger even than you!"
"Do you really think you can provide for me?" asked the Eagle eagerly.
"Why, of course," replied the Kite. "That would be a very simple matter. I am so strong I can carry away an Ostrich in my talons as if it were a feather!"
The Eagle accepted the Kite immediately. But after the wedding, when the Kite flew away to find something to eat for his bride, all he had when he returned, was a tiny Mouse.
"Is that the Ostrich you talked about?" said the Eagle in disgust.
"To win you I would have said and promised anything," replied the Kite.
                                                                                            Everything is fair in love.
128. The Stag, the Sheep, & the Wolf
One day a Stag came to a Sheep and asked her to lend him a measure of wheat. The Sheep knew him for a very swift runner, who could easily take himself out of reach, were he so inclined. So, she asked him if he knew someone who would answer for him.
"Yes, yes," answered the Stag confidently, "the Wolf has promised to be my surety."
"The Wolf!" exclaimed the Sheep indignantly. "Do you think I would trust you on such security? I know the Wolf! He takes what he wants and runs off with it without paying. As for you, you can use your legs so well that I should have little chance of collecting the debt if I had to catch you for it!"
                                                                              Two charlatans do not make an honorable person.
129. The Animals & the Plague
Once upon a time a severe plague raged among the animals. Many died, and those who lived were so ill, that they cared for neither food nor drink, and dragged themselves about listlessly. No longer could a fat young hen tempt Master Fox to dinner, nor a tender lamb rouse greedy Sir Wolf's appetite.
At last, the Lion decided to call a council. When all the animals were gathered together, he arose and said:
"Dear friends, I believe the gods have sent this plague upon us as a punishment for our sins. Therefore, the guiltiest among us must be offered in sacrifice. Perhaps we may thus obtain forgiveness and cure for all.
"I will confess all my sins first. I admit that I have been very greedy and have devoured many sheep. They had done me no harm. I have eaten goats and bulls and stags. To tell the truth, I even ate up a shepherd now and then.
"Now, if I am the guiltiest, I am ready to be sacrificed. But I think it best that each one confesses his sins as I have done. Then we can decide in all justice who is the guiltiest."
"Your majesty," said the Fox, "you are too good. Can it be a crime to eat sheep, such stupid mutton heads? No, no, your majesty. You have done them great honor by eating them up.
"And so far as shepherds are concerned, we all know they belong to that puny race that pretends to be our masters."
All the animals applauded the Fox loudly. Then, though the Tiger, the Bear, the Wolf, and all the savage beasts recited the most wicked deeds, all were excused and made to appear very saint-like and innocent.
It was now the Ass's turn to confess.
"I remember," he said guiltily, "that one day as I was passing a field belonging to some priests, I was so tempted by the tender grass and my hunger, that I could not resist nibbling a bit of it. I had no right to do it, I admit—"
A great uproar among the beasts interrupted him. Here was the culprit who had brought misfortune on all of them! What a horrible crime it was to eat grass that belonged to someone else! It was enough to hang anyone for, much more an Ass.
Immediately they all fell upon him, the Wolf in the lead, and soon had made an end to him, sacrificing him to the gods then and there, and without the formality of an altar.
                                                                   The weak are made to suffer for the misdeeds of the powerful.
130. The Shepherd & the Lion
A Shepherd, counting his Sheep one day, discovered that several of them were missing.
Much irritated, he very loudly and boastfully declared that he would catch the thief and punish him as he deserved. The Shepherd suspected a Wolf of the deed and so set out toward a rocky region among the hills, where there were caves infested by Wolves. But before starting out he made a vow to Jupiter that if he would help him find the thief he would offer a fat Calf as a sacrifice.
The Shepherd searched a long time without finding any Wolves, but just as he was passing near a large cave on the mountain side, a huge Lion stalked out, carrying a Sheep. In great terror the Shepherd fell on his knees.
"Alas, O Jupiter, man does not know what he asks! To find the thief I offered to sacrifice a fat Calf. Now I promise you a full-grown Bull, if you but make the thief go away!"
                                                                                We are often not so eager for what we seek, after we have found it.

                                                                            Do not foolishly ask for things that would bring ruin if they were granted.
131. The Bees & Wasps, & the Hornet
A store of honey had been found in a hollow tree, and the Wasps declared positively that it belonged to them. The Bees were just as sure that the treasure was theirs. The argument grew very pointed, and it looked as if the affair could not be settled without a battle, when at last, with much good sense, they agreed to let a judge decide the matter. So, they brought the case before the Hornet, justice of the peace in that part of the woods.
When the Judge called the case, witnesses declared that they had seen certain winged creatures in the neighborhood of the hollow tree, who hummed loudly, and whose bodies were striped, yellow and black, like Bees.
Counsel for the Wasps immediately insisted that this description fitted his clients exactly.
Such evidence did not help Judge Hornet to any decision, so he adjourned court for six weeks to give him time to think it over. When the case came up again, both sides had a large number of witnesses. An Ant was first to take the stand, and was about to be cross-examined, when a wise old Bee addressed the Court.
"Your honor," he said, "the case has now been pending for six weeks. If it is not decided soon, the honey will not be fit for anything. I move that the Bees and the Wasps be both instructed to build a honeycomb. Then we shall soon see to whom the honey really belongs."
The Wasps protested loudly. Wise Judge Hornet quickly understood why they did so: They knew they could not build a honeycomb and fill it with honey.
"It is clear," said the Judge, "who made the comb and who could not have made it. The honey belongs to the Bees."
                                                                                         Ability proves itself by deeds.
132. The Lark & Her Young Ones
A Lark made her nest in a field of young wheat. As the days passed, the wheat stalks grew tall and the young birds, too, grew in strength. Then one day, when the ripe golden grain waved in the breeze, the Farmer and his son came into the field.
"This wheat is now ready for reaping," said the Farmer. "We must call in our neighbors and friends to help us harvest it."
The young Larks in their nest close by were much frightened, for they knew they would be in great danger if they did not leave the nest before the reapers came. When the Mother Lark returned with food for them, they told her what they had heard.
"Do not be frightened, children," said the Mother Lark. "If the Farmer said he would call in his neighbors and friends to help him do his work, this -wheat will not be reaped for a while yet."
A few days later, the wheat was so ripe, that when the wind shook the stalks, a hail of wheat grains came rustling down on the young Larks' heads.
"If this wheat is not harvested at once," said the Farmer, "we shall lose half the crop. We cannot wait any longer for help from our friends. Tomorrow we must set to work, ourselves."
When the young Larks told their mother what they had heard that day, she said:
"Then we must be off at once. When a man decides to do his own work and not depend on anyone else, then you may be sure there will be no more delay."
There was much fluttering and trying out of wings that afternoon, and at sunrise next day, when the Farmer and his son cut down the grain, they found an empty nest.
                                                                                                 Self-help is the best help.
133. The Cat & the Old Rat
There was once a Cat who was so watchful, that a Mouse hardly dared show the tip of his whiskers for fear of being eaten alive. That Cat seemed to be everywhere at once with his claws all ready for a pounce. At last, the Mice kept so closely to their dens, that the Cat saw he would have to use his wits well to catch one. So, one day he climbed up on a shelf and hung from it, head downward, as if he were dead, holding himself up by clinging to some ropes with one paw.
When the Mice peeped out and saw him in that position, they thought he had been hung up there in punishment for some misdeed. Very timidly at first, they stuck out their heads and sniffed about carefully. But as nothing stirred, all trooped joyfully out to celebrate the death of the Cat.
Just then the Cat let go his hold, and before the Mice recovered from their surprise, he had made an end of three or four.
Now the Mice kept more strictly at home than ever. But the Cat, who was still hungry for Mice, knew more tricks than one. Rolling himself in flour until he was covered completely, he lay down in the flour bin, with one eye open for the Mice.
Sure enough, the Mice soon began to come out. To the Cat it was almost as if he already had a plump young Mouse under his claws, when an old Rat, who had had much experience with Cats and traps, and had even lost a part of his tail to pay for it, sat up at a safe distance from a hole in the wall where he lived.
"Take care!" he cried. "That may be a heap of meal, but it looks to me very much like the Cat. Whatever it is, it is wisest to keep at a safe distance."
                                                                                 The wise do not let themselves be tricked a second time.
134. The Ass & His Shadow
A Traveler had hired an Ass to carry him to a distant part of the country. The owner of the Ass went with the Traveler, walking beside him to drive the Ass and point out the way.
The road led across a treeless plain where the Sun beat down fiercely. So intense did the heat become, that the Traveler at last decided to stop for a rest, and as there was no other shade to be found, the Traveler sat down in the shadow of the Ass.
Now the heat had affected the Driver as much as it had the Traveler, and even more, for he had been walking. Wishing also to rest in the shade cast by the Ass, he began to quarrel with the Traveler, saying he had hired the Ass and not the shadow it cast.
The two soon came to blows, and while they were fighting, the Ass took to its heels.
                                                                                      In quarreling about the shadow we often lose the substance.
135. The Miller, His Son, and the Ass

Once upon a time, in a distant village, there lived an old Miller and his Son. They owned a sturdy Ass that they hoped to sell at the market. Determined to fetch a good price, they set off on foot, leading the Ass alongside them.
As they walked along the dusty highway, some passersby couldn’t help but chuckle. “Look at those fools,” one traveler remarked. “Why walk when they could ride the Ass? The real fool isn’t who you’d expect!”
The Miller, embarrassed by the laughter, decided to change their approach. He instructed his Son to climb onto the Ass’s back. Now the Son rode while the Miller walked alongside.
Further down the road, they encountered three merchants. The merchants raised their eyebrows and called out, “Respect your elders, young man! Let the old Miller ride.” The Miller, though not tired, obliged and mounted the Ass himself.
As they approached a turnstile, they encountered a group of women carrying heavy market baskets. One of the women pointed at the Miller and said, “Look at that old fool, perched on the Ass! Meanwhile, the poor boy has to trudge on foot.”
To please the women, the Miller asked his Son to join him on the Ass. Now both of them rode, while the Ass dutifully carried their weight.
But their misadventures didn’t end there. Another group of travelers passed by, outraged. “What cruelty!” cried one. “They’re overloading that poor beast. It’s absurd!”
“They’re probably on their way to sell its hide,” speculated another.
The Miller and his Son, flustered by the criticism, dismounted. They decided to carry the Ass slung from a pole, hoping to avoid further judgment. As they entered the bustling market square, a curious crowd gathered. People pointed, laughed, and marveled at the peculiar sight.
The Ass, bewildered by the attention, kicked and brayed. Just as they reached a bridge, disaster struck—the ropes holding the Ass snapped, and it tumbled into the river below.
The Miller returned home empty-handed, realizing that trying to please everyone had led to their downfall. In the end, they had pleased no one and lost their Ass.
                                        The moral of the story remains: If you attempt to please everyone, you’ll likely please no one at all.
136. The Wolf, the Kid, & the Goat
Mother Goat was going to market one morning to get provisions for her household, which consisted of but one little Kid and herself.
"Take good care of the house, my son," she said to the Kid, as she carefully latched the door. "Do not let anyone in, unless he gives you this password: 'Down with the Wolf and all his ilk!'"
Strangely enough, a Wolf was lurking near and heard what the Goat had said. So, as soon as Mother Goat was out of sight, up he trotted to the door and knocked.
"Down with the Wolf and all his ilk," said the Wolf softly.
It was the right password, but when the Kid peeped through a crack in the door and saw the shadowy figure outside, he did not feel at all easy.
"Show me a white paw," he said, "or I won't let you in."
A white paw, of course, is a feature few Wolves can show, and so Master Wolf had to go away as hungry as he had come.
"You can never be too sure," said the Kid, when he saw the Wolf making off to the woods.
                                                                                           Two sureties are better than one.
Note: It is not enough to know the password. Entering a one-time Verification Code, provided by the website is necessary to be safe. Aesop knew this long before we do. Rather, we learnt a lesson from the Kid.
137. The Swallow & the Crow
The Swallow and the Crow had an argument one day about their plumage.
Said the Swallow: "Just look at my bright and downy feathers. Your black stiff quills are not worth having. Why don't you dress better? Show a little pride!"
"Your feathers may do very well in spring," replied the Crow, "but—I don't remember ever having seen you around in winter, and that's when I enjoy myself most."
                                                                              Friends in fine weather only, are not worth much.
138. Jupiter & the Monkey
There was once a baby show among the Animals in the forest. Jupiter provided the prize. Of course, all the proud mammas from far and near brought their babies. But none got there earlier than Mother Monkey. Proudly she presented her baby among the other contestants.
As you can imagine, there was quite a laugh when the Animals saw the ugly flat-nosed, hairless, pop-eyed little creature.
"Laugh if you will," said the Mother Monkey. "Though Jupiter may not give him the prize, I know that he is the prettiest, the sweetest, the dearest darling in the world."
                                                                                               Mother love is blind.
139. The Lion, the Ass, & the Fox
A Lion, an Ass, and a Fox were hunting in company, and caught a large quantity of game. The Ass was asked to divide the spoil. This he did very fairly, giving each an equal share.
The Fox was well satisfied, but the Lion flew into a great rage over it, and with one stroke of his huge paw, he added the Ass to the pile of slain.
Then he turned to the Fox.
"You divide it," he roared angrily.
The Fox wasted no time in talking. He quickly piled all the game into one great heap. From this he took a very small portion for himself, such undesirable bits as the horns and hoofs of a mountain goat, and the end of an ox tail.
The Lion now recovered his good humor entirely.
"Who taught you to divide so fairly?" he asked pleasantly.
"I learned a lesson from the Ass," replied the Fox, carefully edging away.
                                                                                         Learn from the misfortunes of others.
140. The Lion's Share
A long time ago, the Lion, the Fox, the Jackal, and the Wolf agreed to go hunting together, sharing with each other whatever they found.
One day the Wolf ran down a Stag and immediately called his comrades to divide the spoil.
Without being asked, the Lion placed himself at the head of the feast to do the carving, and, with a great show of fairness, began to count the guests.
"One," he said, counting on his claws, "that is myself the Lion. Two, that's the Wolf, three, is the Jackal, and the Fox makes four."
He then very carefully divided the Stag into four equal parts.
"I am King Lion," he said, when he had finished, "so of course I get the first part. This next part falls to me because I am the strongest; and this is mine because I am the bravest."
He now began to glare at the others very savagely. "If any of you have any claim to the part that is left," he growled, stretching his claws meaningly, "now is the time to speak up."
                                                                                                            Might makes right.
141. The Mole & his Mother
A little Mole once said to his Mother:
"Why, Mother, you said I was blind! But I am sure I can see!"
Mother Mole saw she would have to get such conceit out of his head. So, she put a bit of frankincense before him and asked him to tell what it was.
The little Mole peered at it.
"Why, that's a pebble!"
"Well, my son, that proves you've lost not only your sense of sight but now the sense of smell."
                                                            Boast of one thing and you will be found lacking in that and a few other things as well.
142. The North Wind & the Sun
The North Wind and the Sun had a quarrel about which of them was the stronger. While they were disputing with much heat and bluster, a Traveler passed along the road wrapped in a cloak.
"Let us agree," said the Sun, "that he is the stronger who can strip that Traveler of his cloak."
"Very well," growled the North Wind, and at once sent a cold, howling blast against the Traveler.
With the first gust of wind the ends of the cloak whipped about the Traveler's body. But he immediately wrapped it closely around him, and the harder the Wind blew, the tighter he held it to him. The North Wind tore angrily at the cloak, but all his efforts were in vain.
Then the Sun began to shine. At first his beams were gentle, and in the pleasant warmth after the bitter cold of the North Wind, the Traveler unfastened his cloak and let it hang loosely from his shoulders. The Sun's rays grew warmer and warmer. The man took off his cap and mopped his brow. At last, he became so heated that he pulled off his cloak, and, to escape the blazing sunshine, threw himself down in the welcome shade of a tree by the roadside.
                                                                          Gentleness and kind persuasion win where force and bluster fail.
143. The Wolves & the Sheep
A pack of Wolves lurked near the Sheep pasture. But the Dogs kept them all at a respectful distance, and the Sheep grazed in perfect safety. But now the Wolves thought of a plan to trick the Sheep.
"Why is there always this hostility between us?" they said. "If it were not for those Dogs who are always stirring up trouble, I am sure we should get along beautifully. Send them away and you will see what good friends we shall become."
The Sheep were easily fooled. They persuaded the Dogs to go away, and that very evening the Wolves had the grandest feast of their lives.
                                                                                                        Do not give up friends for foes.
144. The Cock & the Fox
A Fox was caught in a trap one fine morning, because he had got too near the Farmer's hen house. No doubt he was hungry, but that was not an excuse for stealing. A Cock, rising early, discovered what had happened. He knew the Fox could not get at him, so he went a little closer to get a good look at his enemy.
The Fox saw a slender chance of escape.
"Dear friend," he said, "I was just on my way to visit a sick relative, when I stumbled into this string and got all tangled up. But please do not tell anybody about it. I dislike causing sorrow to anybody, and I am sure I can soon gnaw this string to pieces."
But the Cock was not to be so easily fooled. He soon roused the whole hen yard, and when the Farmer came running out, that was the end of Mr. Fox.
                                                                                                           The wicked deserve no aid.
145. The Ass in the Lion's Skin
An Ass found a Lion's skin left in the forest by a hunter. He dressed himself in it and amused himself by hiding in a thicket and rushing out suddenly at the animals who passed that way. All took to their heels the moment they saw him.
The Ass was so pleased to see the animals running away from him, just as if he were King Lion himself, that he could not keep from expressing his delight by a loud, harsh bray. A Fox, who ran with the rest, stopped short as soon as he heard the voice. Approaching the Ass, he said with a laugh:
"If you had kept your mouth shut you might have frightened me, too. But you gave yourself away with that silly bray."
                                            A fool may deceive others by his dress and appearance, but his words will soon show what he really is.
Tiger in Ass’s Skin
1. Returning from the riverside after laundering the villagers' clothes atop his faithful Ass, a washerman encountered a menacing Tiger. In a panic, he scrambled up a nearby tree as the Tiger devoured his Ass and donned its skin before vanishing into the forest.
2. The washerman wasted no time in recounting his harrowing tale to the villagers, describing the Tiger cloaked in his Ass's skin. News of this peculiar predator quickly spread among the forest denizens, carried by those who had witnessed the event.
3. Fate wove another twist when the Tiger, still disguised as an Ass, pounced on a replacement belonging to the washerman. The startled Ass bolted, finding refuge within a nearby animal pen owned by the local circus, narrowly evading the Tiger.
4. However, the Tiger's luck soon soured as a well-laid trap ensnared it in a net dropped from an overhead tree. Swiftly captured by the circus attendants, the Tiger found itself in the hands of a skilled trainer, destined to become a spectacle for the entertainment of the masses, as the Tiger clothed in Ass's skin.