At a great meeting of the Animals, who had adhered to elect a new ruler, the Monkey was skid to dance. This he did so well, with a thousand funny capers and grimaces, that the Animals were carried entirely off their feet with enthusiasm and then and there, elected him their king.
The Fox did not vote for the Monkey and was much disgusted with the Animals for electing so unworthy a ruler.
One day he found a trap with a bit of meat in it. Hurrying to King Monkey, he told him he had found a rich treasure, which he had not touched because it belonged by right to his majesty, the Monkey.
The greedy Monkey followed the Fox to the trap. As soon as he saw the meat he grasped eagerly for it, only to find himself held fast in the trap. The Fox stood off and laughed.
“You pretend to be our king,” he said, “and cannot even take care of yourself!”
Shortly after that, another election among the Animals was held.
The true leader proves himself
by his qualities.
2. The Dog and His Reflection
A Dog, to whom the butcher had thrown a bone was hurrying home with his prize as fast as he could go. As he crossed a narrow footbridge, he happened to look down and saw himself reflected in the quiet water as if in a mirror. But the greedy Dog thought he saw a real Dog carrying a bone much bigger than his own.
If he had stopped to think he would have known better. But instead of thinking, he dropped his bone and sprang at the Dog in the river, only to find himself swimming for dear life to reach the shore. At last he managed to scramble out and as he stood sadly thinking about the good bone he had lost, he realised what a stupid Dog he had been.
It is very foolish to be greedy.
3. The Hare and the Tortoise
A Hare was making fun of the Tortoise one day for being so slow.
Do you ever get anywhere?” he asked with a mocking laugh.
“Yes”, replied the Tortoise, “and I get there sooner than you think. I’ll run you a race and prove it.”
The Hare was much amused at the idea of running a race with the Tortoise, but for the fun of the thing he agreed. So the Fox, who had consented to act as judge, marked the distance and started the runners off.
The Hare was soon far out of sight and to make the Tortoise feel very deeply how ridiculous it was for him to try a race with a Hare, he laid down beside the course to take a nap until the Tortoise should catch up.
The Tortoise meanwhile kept going slowly but steadily, and after a time, passed the place where the Hare was sleeping. But the Hare slept on very peacefully and when at last he did wake up, the Tortoise was near the goal. The Hare now ran his swiftest, but he could not overtake the Tortoise in time.
Slow and steady wins the race.
4. The Fox and the Crow
One bright morning as the Fox was following his sharp nose through the wood in search of a bite to eat, he saw a Crow on the branch of a tree overhead. This was by no means the first Crow the Fox had ever seen. What caught his attention this time and made him stop for a second look, was that the lucky Crow held a bit of cheese in her beak.
“No need to search any farther,” thought sly Master Fox. “Here is a dainty bite for my breakfast.”
Up he trotted to the foot of the tree on which the Crow was sitting, and looking up admiringly, he cried, “Good morning, and beautiful creature!”
The Crow, her head cocked on one side, watched the Fox suspiciously. But she kept her beak tightly closed on the cheese and did not return his greeting.
“What a charming creature she is!” said the Fox. “How her feathers shine! What a beautiful form and what splendid wings! Such a wonderful Bird should have a very lovely voice, since everything else about her is so perfect. Could she sing just one song, I know I should hail her Queen of Birds.”
Wanting to be called Queen of birds she opened her beak wide to utter her loudest caw, and down fell the cheese into, the Fox’s mouth.
“Thank you,” said Master Fox sweetly, as he walked off. “Though it is cracked, you have a voice sure enough. But where are your wits?”
The flatterer lives at the expense
of those who will listen to him.
5. The Ass and Its Shadow
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 quarrelling about the shadow
we often lose the substance.