The Poor Man and the Flask of Oil
One evening, as he was gazing at it, he said half aloud,"I wonder how much oil there is in that bottle. There is a large quantity. If I should sell it, I could buy five sheep. Every year I should have lambs, and before long I should own a flock. Then I should sell some of the sheep, and be rich enough to marry a wife. Perhaps we might have a son. And what a fine boy he would be! So tall, strong, and obedient! But if he should disobey me," and he raised the staff which he held in his hand, "I should punish him thus!" and he swung the staff over his head and brought it heavily to the ground, knocking, as he did so, the flask off the shelf so that the oil ran over him from head to foot.
The Rich Man and the Bundle of Wood
One day, as he was purchasing a large bundle of wood from a Poor Man, a Priest came by. He saw the few pennies that the Rich Man had thrown at the Poor Man's feet, and he could not help saying, "My Rich Brother, can you not be more generous than this? Do you not see that this Poor Woodsman has brought you a large bundle of wood, and you are sending him away with only a penny or two? How can he buy bread enough to keep himself and his family from starving with such small wages?"
But the Rich Man was greatly vexed at the Priest's words. "What is it to me that the man is poor?" he cried, and he drove both the Poor Man and the Priest from his door.
That very night, this same bundle of sticks caught fire and the Rich Man's house and barn burned to the ground. Thus he awoke the next morning to find himself as poor as the poorest wood-chopper from whom he had ever bought wood.
The Youth, the Hawk, and the Raven
"Thus are the lazy always cared for," mused the Youth. "Henceforth, instead of working hard to earn my living, I will remain quietly at home. Surely someone will take care of me, for a man is of much greater importance in the world than is a Raven."
So for three days the Youth stayed within his house. Each day he grew thinner and feebler from want of food, but still no one came near him.
"Alas," he sighed at length, "how foolish I have been! I was strong and as well able to work as the Hawk. How much better it would have been to imitate him instead of the Raven!"