A Traveler had hired an Ass to carry him to a distant part of the country. The owner of the Ass went with the Traveler, walking beside him to drive the Ass and point out the way.
The road led across a treeless plain where the Sun beat down fiercely. So intense did the heat become that the Traveler at last decided to stop for a rest, and as there was no other shade to be found, the Traveler sat down in the shadow of the Ass.
Now the heat had affected the Driver as much as it had the Traveler, and even more, for he had been walking. Wishing also to rest in the shade cast by the Ass, he began to quarrel with the Traveler, saying he had hired the Ass and not the shadow it cast.
The two soon came to blows, and while they were fighting, the Ass took to its heels.
In quarreling about the shadow we often lose the substance.
A Dove saw an Ant fall into a brook. The Ant struggled in vain to reach the bank, and in pity, the Dove dropped a blade of straw close beside it. Clinging to the straw like a shipwrecked sailor to a broken spar, the Ant floated safely to shore.
Soon after, the Ant saw a man getting ready to kill the Dove with a stone. But just as he cast the stone, the Ant stung him in the heel, so that the pain made him miss his aim, and the startled Dove flew to safety in a distant wood.
A kindness is never wasted.
LIBRIVOX AUDIO: ... The Wolf, the Kid, and the Goat; The Swallow and the Crow; Jupiter and the Monkey
Mother Goat was going to market one morning to get provisions for her household, which consisted of but one little Kid and herself.
"Take good care of the house, my son," she said to the Kid, as she carefully latched the door. "Do not let anyone in, unless he gives you this password: 'Down with the Wolf and all his race!'"
Strangely enough, a Wolf was lurking near and heard what the Goat had said. So, as soon as Mother Goat was out of sight, up he trotted to the door and knocked.
"Down with the Wolf and all his race," said the Wolf softly.
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.
"Show me a white paw," he said, "or I won't let you in."
A white paw, of course, is a feature few Wolves can show, and so Master Wolf had to go away as hungry as he had come.
"You can never be too sure," said the Kid, when he saw the Wolf making off to the woods.
Two sureties are better than one.
The Swallow and the Crow
The Swallow and the Crow had an argument one day about their plumage.
Said the Swallow: "Just look at my bright and downy feathers. Your black stiff quills are not worth having. Why don't you dress better? Show a little pride!"
"Your feathers may do very well in spring," replied the Crow, "but—I don't remember ever having seen you around in winter, and that's when I enjoy myself most."
Friends in fine weather only, are not worth much.
Jupiter and the Monkey
There was once a baby show among the Animals in the forest. Jupiter provided the prize. Of course all the proud mammas from far and near brought their babies. But none got there earlier than Mother Monkey. Proudly she presented her baby among the other contestants.
As you can imagine, there was quite a laugh when the Animals saw the ugly flat-nosed, hairless, pop-eyed little creature.
"Laugh if you will," said the Mother Monkey. "Though Jupiter may not give him the prize, I know that he is the prettiest, the sweetest, the dearest darling in the world."
Mother love is blind.
Next: Aesop (Winter): Page 20