Of two cats, one, thinking to be very fine, hunted only humming birds,
and the other hunted only mice. The first had to hunt much longer than
the other, because humming birds were scarce, so that it spent nearly
all its life in getting food, while the other had little trouble to get
all it wanted. How unfortunate it is, said the first cat, that I have
formed my liking for what is so hard to get an
is so little when I have
A fastidious ox would not drink while standing in the water with his
head turned down stream lest he should soil the water with his feet. But
once when drinking with his head turned up stream he saw a whole drove
of hogs washing in the water above him.
A flea, which saw many people trying to get the attention of a king and
waiting long for that purpose, said: Though I am but a little thing, I
will get his attention. So he jumped up the throne until he got on the
king's head. Here he received recognition from the king by a slap, and
when he boasted to a dog of his success, the latter said: Some get
attention by their merit, others by their demerit. In making yourself a
nuisance you get recognition before the lords of the realm, but only as
A monkey playing with a steel trap got his tail cut off. He went back
the next day to get his tail, when he got his foot cut off. Now, he
said, I will go back and get both my foot and my tail. He went back,
and the third time he got his head cut off, which ended his monkeying
with the trap.
A mule on one side of a fence was discontented because he was not on the
other side. He finally jumped over, when he was equally discontented
because he was not back again. Which side of the fence do you want to
be on? asked a horse. It does not matter, replied the mule, provided
I am on the other side.
A dog, running about in an irregular way, was asked where he was going.
I am not going anywhere, replied the dog, but only running about to
learn where to go.
The swans, wishing to drive the peacocks from a park, procured a law
against big feet. The peacocks retaliated by getting a counter law
against big necks. Soon one side could see nothing but ugly feet, and
the other nothing but long necks. At last they came to think peacocks
were all feet and swans all neck.