THE owls, who can't see during the day, and the crows, who can't see during the night, were foes. So the owls said to the crows, "We don't want the sun as you do; we can do without him; we can see in the dark."
The crows said, "We don't believe you can see in the dark; those who can't see in the day can much less see in the night."
They became friends. Then the owls said to the crows, "You don't see in the night because you are a part of it; else how could you be so black?"
The crows returned the compliment, saying, "You don't see during the day because your eyes are a part of the sun; else how could they be so brilliant and round?"
Then they said together, "As we love or hate, we think of a thing."
AN eagle once pounced on a huge fish in a lake, and plunged his talons into his back. The fish pulled downwards, and the eagle upwards. But, neither succeeding in disengaging itself from the other, the fish called all the other fish in the lake to its aid, and the eagle summoned all the birds of the air to its side. The birds pulled the eagle up, and broke its wings. The fish pulled their friend down, and hurt him severely, till in the end both sank exhausted into the lake.
The birds and the fish exclaimed, "When neither yields in strife, neither can keep his life. In such cases, friends can only aggravate, in their attempts to alleviate."
A CAMEL said, "Nothing like being tall and fit, how tall I am!"
A pig, who heard these words, said, "Nothing like being short and fit; look, how short I am!"
The camel said, "Well, if I fail to prove the truth of what I said, I shall give up my hump."
The pig said, "If I fail to prove the truth of what I have said, I shall give up my snout."
"Agreed!" said the camel.
"Just so!" said the pig.
They came to a garden. It was enclosed by a low wall without any opening. The camel stood on this side the wall, and reaching the plants within by means of his long neck, made a breakfast on them. Then he turned jeeringly to the pig, who had been standing at the bottom of the wall, without even having a look at the good things in the garden, and said, "Now, would you be tall, or short?"
Next they came to another garden. It was enclosed by a high wall, with a wicket gate at one end. The pig entered by the gate, and, after having eaten his fill of the vegetables within, came out, laughing at the camel who had had to stay outside because he was too tall to enter the garden by the gate, and said, "Now, would you be tall, or short?"
Then they thought the matter over, and came to the conclusion that the camel should keep his hump and the pig his snout, observing, "Tall is good where tall would do; of short, again, it's also true."
A SNAKE and a frog were friends in a pond. The snake taught the frog to hiss, and the frog taught the snake to croak. The snake would hide in the reeds and croak. The frogs would say, "Why, there is one of us," and come near. The snake would then dart at them, and eat all he could seize. The frog would hide in the reeds and hiss. His kin would say, "Why, there is the snake," and keep off.
After some time, the frogs found out the trick of the snake, and took care not to come near him. Thus the snake got no frogs to eat for a long time; so he seized his friend to gobble him up.
The frog then said, though too late, "By becoming your friend, I lost the company of my kindred, and am now losing my life. One's neck to fate one has to bend, when one would make so bad a friend."
ONE day a grasshopper was sporting gaily in a green meadow. A dove on an adjacent tree saw it, and, being tempted to eat it, came down. The grasshopper saw the object of the dove, but remained where it was, without moving an inch.
The dove, being surprised at this conduct of his victim, said, "Hollo! how is it you are not afraid of me?"
"Because," said the grasshopper, "you will do me no harm."
This surprised the dove more, and he said, "How so?"
"I'll tell you how; you love your mate, do you not? Well, even so, I love mine. Should a hunter catch you in his net now, would you not be sorry? So, if you should seize me, 'I should be sorry. If he should let you go, without doing you any harm, would you not be glad? Well, even so, I shall be glad if you let me go without doing me any harm."
These words touched the heart of the dove, and he let the grasshopper go without doing him any harm, saying, "As you feel, so do I."
When the good err, tell them so: it helps them, and helps you too.
A TRAVELLER said, "Ah, how bright the sun is!"
A glow-worm, close by, said, "It is always a quality of our race."
"What do you mean, you impudent little thing?" said the traveller.
The glow-worm replied, "Why, I mean that brightness is ever a quality of the class to which I, the sun, the moon, the stars, and other shining bodies belong!"
"Ah," said the traveller, "vanity reigns over all creation."