18 Jan 2009

Aesop's Fables

The Farmer and the Cranes

SOME CRANES made their feeding grounds on some plowlands newly sown with wheat.  For a long time the Farmer, brandishing an empty sling, chased them away by the terror he inspired; but when the birds found that the sling was only swung in the air, they ceased to take any notice of it and would not move.  The Farmer, on seeing this, charged his sling with stones, and killed a great number.  The remaining birds at once forsook his fields, crying to each other, “It is time for us to be off to Liliput:  for this man is no longer content to scare us, but begins to show us in earnest what he can do.” 

If words suffice not, blows must follow. 

The Bear and the Two Travellers

TWO MEN were travelling 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 Traveller 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.” 

Misfortune tests the sincerity of friends.