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Mouse ate, drank, and was merry, he thought how rich his friend was, and how poor he was.
But as they ate, a man all at once opened the door, and the Mice were in such a fear that they ran into a crack.
Then, when they would eat some nice figs, in came a maid to get a pot of honey or a bit of cheese; and when they saw her, they hid in a hole.
Then the Field Mouse would eat no more, but said to the Town Mouse: “Do as you like, my good friend; eat all you want, have your fill of good things, but always in fear of your life. As for me, poor Mouse, who have only corn and wheat, I will live on at home, in no fear of any one.”
THE CAT, THE APE, AND THE NUTS.
A Cat and an Ape sat one day by the fire, in which were some nuts, put there to roast in the coals. The nuts had begun to crack with the heat, and the Ape said to the Cat: “It is clear that your paws were made to pull out those nuts. Put in a paw and draw them out. Your paws are just like hands."
The Cat much enjoyed this speech, and put out her paw for the nuts; but she at once drew back with a cry, for she had burnt her paw with the hot coals. But she tried again, and this time pulled out one nut; then she pulled two, then three, but each time burnt her paw.
When she could pull out no more, she looked round, and found that the Ape had used the time to crack the nuts and eat them.
The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
THE FOX AND THE GRAPES.
A Fox who was hungry saw some bunches of grapes hanging from a vine high up from the ground. As he looked, he longed to get them, but could not. At last, growing tired of leaping and springing, he left them hanging there and went on his way muttering, “Let those who will have them. They're green and sour! I will let them alone.”
THE MOUSE AND THE LION.
A Mouse ran by chance into the mouth of a Lion who lay asleep. The Lion got up, and was just going to eat him, when the poor Mouse asked to be let go, saying, “If I am let go, I shall not forget you.” So, with a smile, the Lion let him
go. Soon the Lion was saved by the Mouse, who did not forget him; for when some men had caught him, and had tied him with ropes to a tree, the Mouse heard him roar, and came and gnawed the ropes, and let the Lion go, saying, “ You smiled at me once, as if I could not do you any good turn; but now, you see, it is you who cannot forget me.”
THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE.
“What a dull, heavy creature," said the Hare, " this Tortoise is.” “ And yet,” answered the Tortoise, “I'll run with you, for a wager.” “Done,' said the Hare, and they asked the Fox to be the judge.
They started together, and the Tortoise kept jogging on, till he came to the end of the course. The Hare, when he had gone half-way, laid himself down, and took a nap; “for,” says he, “I can catch up with the Tortoise when I please.”
But it seems he overslept himself, for when he came to wake, though he scudded away as fast as his legs would carry him, the Tortoise had got to the post before him and won the wager.
HERCULES AND THE WAGONER.
As a Wagoner was driving a heavy cart through a miry lane, the wheels stuck fast in the clay, and the horses could get no farther. The man, without making the least effort for himself, dropped on his knees and began calling upon Hercules to come and help him out of his trouble.
Lazy fellow !” said Hercules, “get up and stir yourself. Whip your horses stoutly, and put your shoulder to the wheel. Heaven helps only those who help themselves.”
THE GOOSE AND THE GOLDEN EGGS.
There was once a man who had a very handsome goose that laid him a golden egg every day. Now, the man thought that, to lay golden eggs, she must have a great mass of gold inside of her. So he killed her, and cut her open. But what was his dismay to find that she was in no way different from other geese! So by being greedy he lost all he had, without getting the riches he wished.
THE LARK AND HER YOUNG ONES.
A Lark, who had Young Ones in a field of grain which was almost ripe, was afraid that the reapers would come before her young brood were fledged. So every day when she flew off to look for food, she charged them to take note of what they heard in her absence, and to tell her of it when she came home.
One day, when she was gone, they heard the owner of the field say to his son that the grain seemed ripe enough to be cut, and tell him to go early the next day and ask their friends and neighbors to come and help reap it.
When the old Lark came home, the Little Ones quivered and chirped round her, and told her what had happened, begging her to take them away as fast as she could. The mother bade them be easy ; “ for,” said she, “ if he depends on his friends and his neighbors, I am sure the grain will not be reaped to-morrow.”