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RUSTICUS amico quondam dixit, se non intelligere posse quo fiebat ut multi capillos comere possent cotidie cum ipse caesariem bis in anno tantum comendo horribile vexaretur.
Haec fabula nobis docet ut usus multa facilia reddit quae inexpertis insuperabilia videantur.
THE UNKEMPT RUSTIC.
A COUNTRY fellow once said to a friend that he could not understand how some people can comb their hair every day, for it almost killed him to comb his own once in six months.
This fable shows that practice makes easy many things which appear impossible to the inexpert.
Duo fures quondam nocte surgebant ut cerasa ex arbore quadam surriperent. Itaque in arborem scandebant ubi unus in bifurco ramo infixus manus in braccarum sacculos intrudere conabatur ut cultro inde detracto ramisque ab
scisis se liberaret. Sed in tenebris et festinans se male ves tierat et braccas reversas induerat.
Sic cum sacculum non invenire potuit se a Jove celeriter punitum fuisse ratus et terrore impletus sodali vociferavit “Vae mihi Jacobe! detortus sum.” Haec fabula docet non furem oportere se festinantem vestire.
THE FRIGHTENED THIEF.
Two thieves once went by night to steal cherries. Having climbed into a tree, one of them got wedged in between two branches, and tried to thrust his hands into his pockets, in order to take out his knife and cut himself free. But when he dressed himself in the dark, and in a hurry, he put on his breeches wrong side before.
So, unable to find his pockets, and thinking the judgment of heaven was upon him, he shouted to his companion, “Och, Jamie, I'm twisted !” This fable shows that a thief should not dress himself in a hurry.
PUER ET SCARABEUS.
PUER quidam in ludo literarum scarabeum habuit cum quo saepe in scrinio magistro negligente, se oblectabat. Sed magister tandem puerum ludentem et libros negligentem sensit, et propius accessit cum puer ne causa desidiae deprehenderetur scarabeum arripuit et devoravit.
Haec fabula docet pueros multa concoquere posse a quibus valde horremus.
THE BOY AND THE BEETLE.
A certain school-boy had a pet beetle with which he used to amuse himself in his desk when the master was not watching him. But one day the master, observing the boy playing and neglecting his books, came up to him, when the boy, for fear the cause of his idleness should be detected, seized the beetle and devoured it.
This fable teaches that boys can digest many things from which we shrink with horror.
PATERFAMILIAS uxori suae uvas in vinea optimas se absente devoratas esse querebatur. Cui illa respondit, “Gallinae hoc fecerunt.” Tum ille furens exclamavit, “Suspicor eas bipedes gallinas fuisse.”
THE ANGRY FATHER.
The father of a family complained to his wife that the best grapes in his vineyard had been devoured in his absence. She replied, “The hens did it.” Then he wrathfully exclaimed, “I guess they were two-legged hens!”
AETHIOPS senex se non comprehendere posse dixit quo fit ut Luna solis noctibus illustribus lucem daret, cum radiis ejus opus esset.
Haec fabula docet Aethiopem stultum fuisse.
THE FOOLISH NEGRO.
An old negro said he could not see why the moon should shine only on bright nights when her light is not needed.
The fable shows that the negro was a fool.
PUERI ET BUFO.
PUERI Aethiopes discalceati quondam segetes in horto sarculabant. Unus exclamabat alteri, “Bufonem video, ne moveas te et occidam illum.” His verbis sarculum gravem alte sustulit et omnibus viribus enixus non bufonem sed amici pollicem elisit.
Haec fabula docet pollicem Aethiopis persimilem esse bufoni.
THE BOYS AND THE TOAD.
Some barefooted negro boys were once hoeing the crops in a garden. One of them exclaimed, “I see a toad: hold still and I will kill him.” So saying, he lifted up his heavy hoe, and swinging it with all his might smashed, not a toad, but his companion's great toe. The fable shows us that a negro's toe is very
like a toad.
MULIER ET OLEAE.
MULIER quaedam quae nunquam olivas viderat ad coenam invitabatur ubi oleae ei apponebantur.
Tres baccas avide sumpsit et eas dulces rata in os trusit. Continuo nauseavit et manibus ad faciem applicatis e coenaculo fugit.
Fabula docet edacitem evitandam esse.
THE WOMAN AND THE OLIVES.
A woman who had never seen an olive was once invited to a dinner where olives were set before her. Thinking them to be a sweet fruit, she seized three, and thrust them in her mouth. Straightway she became sick at her stomach, and, clapping her hands to her face, ran from the dining-room.
This fable teaches us to avoid greediness.