Archive | Aesop’s Fables

The Peacock

The peacock, they say, did not at first have the beautiful feathers in which he now takes so much pride. These, Juno, whose favorite he was, granted to him one day when he begged her for a train of feathers to distinguish him from the other birds. Then, decked in his finery, gleaming with emerald, gold, purple, and azure, he strutted proudly among the birds. All regarded him with envy. Even the most beautiful pheasant could see that his beauty was surpassed.

Presently the peacock saw an eagle soaring high up in the blue sky and felt a desire to fly, as he had been accustomed to do. Lifting his wings he tried to rise from the ground. But the weight of his magnificent train held him down. Instead of flying up to greet the first rays of the morning sun or to bathe in the rosy light among the floating clouds at sunset, he would have to walk the ground more encumbered and oppressed than any common barnyard fowl.

 

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The Travelers and the Plane Tree

Two travelers, worn out by the heat of the summer’s sun, laid themselves down at noon under the wide-spreading branches of a plane tree. As they rested under its shade, one of the travelers said to the other: “What a singularly useless tree is the plane. It bears no fruit, and is not of the least service to man.” The plane tree interrupting him said: “How ungrateful! Do you, while receiving benefits from me, and resting under my shade, dare to describe me as useless, and unprofitable?”

Some disregard blessings that come without cost.

 

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The Gnat and the Lion

A gnat came and said to a lion: “I do not the least fear you, nor are you stronger than I am. For in what does your strength consist? You can scratch with your claws, and bite with your teeth—so can a woman in her quarrels. I repeat that I am altogether more powerful than you; and if you doubt it, let us fight and see who will conquer.” The gnat, giving a war cry, attacked the lion, and stung him on the nostrils. The Lion, trying to crush him, tore himself with his claws, until he punished himself severely. The gnat thus prevailed over the lion, and buzzing about in a song of triumph, flew away. But shortly afterwards he became caught in a cobweb, and was eaten by a spider.

 

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The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs

A man and his wife had a goose, which laid every day a golden egg. They supposed that it must contain a great lump of gold inside, and killed it in order that they might get it. To their surprise, they found that the goose differed in no respect from their other geese. The foolish pair, thus hoping to become rich all at once, deprived themselves of the gain of which they were day by day assured.

Much wants more and loses all.
 
 
 
 
 

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