The Lion had little hope of eating them, for he was no match for three strong Bullocks with their sharp horns and hoofs. A Fox one day spied a beautiful bunch of ripe grapes hanging from a vine trained along the branches of a tree. The Heron saw no more fish, and very glad was he at last to breakfast on a tiny Snail. And while the Wolf was getting very slowly and painfully to his feet, the Ass galloped away in safety. It was late in the day and the Woodman was tired. As you have guessed, he did not get enough to eat.
The bite was deadly and the Farmer felt that he must die. No doubt he was hungry, but that was not an excuse for stealing. The Bat begged for his life, but the Weasel would not listen. When the wind blew, the great Oak stood proudly upright with its hundred arms uplifted to the sky. I am quite sure we shall become the closest of friends.
To distinguish themselves from the soldiers in the ranks, the new leaders proudly bound on their heads lofty crests and ornaments of feathers or straw. What they seemed to think of more than anything else was to get something to eat, and it did not matter much to them how they got it. The beaten Bull was driven to the marsh, where his great hoofs crushed the Frogs to death. Why, I know a whole sackful of tricks! It happened that one of the Goats had been left behind, and the Bull had no sooner got inside than this Goat lowered his head and made a rush at him, butting him with his horns. When they reached home the Man prepared two bowls of porridge. The stones were flying thick and fast and the Boys were enjoying themselves very much; but the poor Frogs in the pond were trembling with fear. The useful is of much more importance and value, than the ornamental.
And as the water weeds he ate did not agree with him, he got thinner and thinner, and at last he died. And when she wanted to turn her toes out she tripped and fell on her nose. Hurrying to King Monkey, he told him he had found a rich treasure, which he had not touched because it belonged by right to his majesty the Monkey. So there he sat groaning and moaning, both from the discomfort inside him and his anxiety to escape from the basket. He will certainly make out that my ears are horns, no matter what I say. The Satyr sprang hurriedly to his feet and made for the door. A little later when he lifted his head, the flock was gone.
And when he came out of the warren in the early morning sunshine, and there saw the shadow cast by his long and pointed ears, a terrible fright seized him. Behavior that is regarded as agreeable in one is very rude and impertinent in another. My weapons will have to be ready for use then, or I shall suffer for it. But the Gnat was not in the least disturbed. So he commanded that all animals with horns should leave his domains within twenty-four hours. You should have seen him. They soon began to quarrel, for each of them boasted that he and his kind were far superior to the other both in strength and mind.
Finding his Master seated at the dinner table, he kicked up his heels and, with a loud bray, pranced giddily around the table, upsetting it as he did so. Very timidly at first they stuck out their heads and sniffed about carefully. 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. At the next turnstile they overtook some women carrying market baskets loaded with vegetables and other things to sell. Why, I am only a Bird! When I am bigger, I shall make you a much better meal.
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. At last he reached an orchard. I don't need any sour grapes. Usually when translating from Ancient to Modern Greek, translations tend to remain as close to the original as possible. The Fox stood off and laughed. 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 is said the quarrel grew out of the persecution the race of Geese suffered at the teeth of the Fox family. But the Weasel was perfectly content. This little story, in other words, contains a keen truth about the way we as humans tell stories ourselves, spinning narratives, even fictional ones, to cope with failure and our inability to fulfil our goals. No, indeed; they settled right down, feet and all, to gorge themselves. Thinking that the tortoise was still far behind, he ran very fast. Indeed, something had to be done, for they lived in such constant fear of her claws that they hardly dared stir from their dens by night or day.
But the little Frogs all declared that the monster was much, much bigger and the old Frog kept puffing herself out more and more until, all at once, she burst. A Jackdaw saw the deed, and his silly head was filled with the idea that he was big and strong enough to do as the Eagle had done. Chickens and Geese fell by the score—and the victor always stopped for a feast. But I think it best that each one confess his sins as I have done. Do not let your hopes carry you away from reality.
He called himself an Astrologer, and spent his time at night gazing at the sky. Nevertheless, legends grew up around the storyteller. He took care to let all his neighbors know about it, and then lay down in his cave to wait for visitors. There was a sudden rush of great wings. The poor Miller now set out sadly for home.