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Aesop Quotes

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The Widow and Her Little Maidens
A widow who was fond of cleaning had two little maidens to wait on read more

The Widow and Her Little Maidens
A widow who was fond of cleaning had two little maidens to wait on her. She was in the habit of waking them early in the morning, at cockcrow. The maidens, aggravated by such excessive labor, resolved to kill the cock who roused their mistress so early. When they had done this, they found that they had only prepared for themselves greater troubles, for their mistress, no longer hearing the hour from the cock, woke them up to their work in the middle of the night.

by Aesop Found in: Aesop fables Quotes,
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The Vain Jackdaw
Jupiter determined, it is said, to create a sovereign over the birds, and made proclamation that on read more

The Vain Jackdaw
Jupiter determined, it is said, to create a sovereign over the birds, and made proclamation that on a certain day they should all present themselves before him, when he would himself choose the most beautiful among them to be king. The Jackdaw, knowing his own ugliness, searched through the woods and fields, and collected the feathers which had fallen from the wings of his companions, and stuck them in all parts of his body, hoping thereby to make himself the most beautiful of all. When the appointed day arrived, and the birds had assembled before Jupiter, the Jackdaw also made his appearance in his many feathered finery. But when Jupiter proposed to make him king because of the beauty of his plumage, the birds indignantly protested, and each plucked from him his own feathers, leaving the Jackdaw nothing but a Jackdaw.

by Aesop Found in: Aesop fables Quotes,
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The Charcoal-Burner and the Fuller
A CHARCOAL-BURNER carried on his trade in his own house. One day he met a read more

The Charcoal-Burner and the Fuller
A CHARCOAL-BURNER carried on his trade in his own house. One day he met a friend, a Fuller, and entreated him to come and live with him, saying that they should be far better neighbors and that their housekeeping expenses would be lessened. The Fuller replied, The arrangement is impossible as far as I am concerned, for whatever I should whiten, you would immediately blacken again with your charcoal.
Moral: Like will draw like.

by Aesop Found in: Aesop fables Quotes,
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The Fox Who Had Lost His Tail
A fox caught in a trap escaped, but in so doing lost his read more

The Fox Who Had Lost His Tail
A fox caught in a trap escaped, but in so doing lost his tail. Thereafter, feeling his life a burden from the shame and ridicule to which he was exposed, he schemed to convince all the other Foxes that being tailless was much more attractive, thus making up for his own deprivation. He assembled a good many Foxes and publicly advised them to cut off their tails, saying that they would not only look much better without them, but that they would get rid of the weight of the brush, which was a very great inconvenience. One of them interrupting him said, If you had not yourself lost your tail, my friend, you would not thus counsel us.

by Aesop Found in: Aesop fables Quotes,
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Hercules and the Wagoner
A CARTER was driving a wagon along a country lane, when the wheels sank down deep read more

Hercules and the Wagoner
A CARTER was driving a wagon along a country lane, when the wheels sank down deep into a rut. The rustic driver, stupefied and aghast, stood looking at the wagon, and did nothing but utter loud cries to Hercules to come and help him. Hercules, it is said, appeared and thus addressed him: Put your shoulders to the wheels, my man. Goad on your bullocks, and never more pray to me for help, until you have done your best to help yourself, or depend upon it you will henceforth pray in vain.
Self-help is the best help.

by Aesop Found in: Aesop fables Quotes,
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The Frogs Asking for a King
The Frogs, grieved at having no established Ruler, sent ambassadors to Jupiter entreating for read more

The Frogs Asking for a King
The Frogs, grieved at having no established Ruler, sent ambassadors to Jupiter entreating for a King. Perceiving their simplicity, he cast down a huge log into the lake. The Frogs were terrified at the splash occasioned by its fall and hid themselves in the depths of the pool. But as soon as they realized that the huge log was motionless, they swam again to the top of the water, dismissed their fears, climbed up, and began squatting on it in contempt. After some time they began to think themselves ill-treated in the appointment of so inert a Ruler, and sent a second deputation to Jupiter to pray that he would set over them another sovereign. He then gave them an Eel to govern them. When the Frogs discovered his easy good nature, they sent yet a third time to Jupiter to beg him to choose for them still another King. Jupiter, displeased with all their complaints, sent a Heron, who preyed upon the Frogs day by day till there were none left to croak upon the lake.

by Aesop Found in: Aesop fables Quotes,
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A farmer who had a quarrelsome family called his sons and told them to lay a bunch of sticks before read more

A farmer who had a quarrelsome family called his sons and told them to lay a bunch of sticks before him. Then, after laying the sticks parallel to one another and binding them, he challenged his sons, one after one, to pick up the bundle and break it. They all tried, but in vain. Then, untying the bundle, he gave them the sticks to break one by one. This they did with the greatest ease. Then said the father, Thus, my sons, as long as you remain united, you are a match for anything, but differ and separate, and you are undone.

by Aesop Found in: Miscellaneous Quotes,
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The Mischievous Dog
A dog used to run up quietly to the heels of everyone he met, and to bite read more

The Mischievous Dog
A dog used to run up quietly to the heels of everyone he met, and to bite them without notice. His master suspended a bell about his neck so that the Dog might give notice of his presence wherever he went. Thinking it a mark of distinction, the Dog grew proud of his bell and went tinkling it all over the marketplace. One day an old hound said to him: Why do you make such an exhibition of yourself? That bell that you carry is not, believe me, any order of merit, but on the contrary a mark of disgrace, a public notice to all men to avoid you as an ill mannered dog.
Notoriety is often mistaken for fame.

by Aesop Found in: Aesop fables Quotes,
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The Fisherman Piping
A fisherman skilled in music took his flute and his nets to the seashore. Standing on a read more

The Fisherman Piping
A fisherman skilled in music took his flute and his nets to the seashore. Standing on a projecting rock, he played several tunes in the hope that the fish, attracted by his melody, would of their own accord dance into his net, which he had placed below. At last, having long waited in vain, he laid aside his flute, and casting his net into the sea, made an excellent haul of fish. When he saw them leaping about in the net upon the rock he said: O you most perverse creatures, when I piped you would not dance, but now that I have ceased you do so merrily.

by Aesop Found in: Aesop fables Quotes,
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The Wolves and the Sheep
Why should there always be this fear and slaughter between us? said the Wolves to read more

The Wolves and the Sheep
Why should there always be this fear and slaughter between us? said the Wolves to the Sheep. Those evil-disposed Dogs have much to answer for. They always bark whenever we approach you and attack us before we have done any harm. If you would only dismiss them from your heels, there might soon be treaties of peace and reconciliation between us. The Sheep, poor silly creatures, were easily beguiled and dismissed the Dogs, whereupon the Wolves destroyed the unguarded flock at their own pleasure.

by Aesop Found in: Aesop fables Quotes,
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