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Modern Fables


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.

Attracting Attention.

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 flea.


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.

The Non-Partisan.

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.