'The Crab and her Daughter', an illustration by John Vernon Lord
in Aesop's Fables, Jonathan Cape, 1989, page 50.
The Crab and her
Two Crabs, the mother and daughter, having been left by the
receding tide, were creeping again towards the water, when the former observing
the awkward gait of her daughter, got into a great passion, and desired her to
move straight forward, in a more becoming and sprightly manner, and not crawl
sideling along in a way so contrary to all the rest of the world. Indeed
mother, says the young Crab, I walk as properly as I can, and to the best of my
knowledge; but if you would have me to go otherwise, I beg you would be so good
as to practise it first, and shew me by your own example how you would have me
to conduct myself.
Moral: Look at the example you set yourself before finding
fault in others.
Text: Thomas Bewick (p1, 1818)
Selected Parallels: Babrius 109. Avianus 3. Caxton, Avianus 3. La
Fontaine 12/10. L’Estrange 221. Chambry 151. Perry 322. TMI J1063.1 and U121.1.
'The Fox and the Stork', an illustration by John Vernon Lord
in Aesop's Fables, Jonathan Cape, 1989, page 132.
The Fox and the Stork
Who Invited Each Other For Dinner
THE FOX, though in general more inclined to roguery than
wit, had once a strong inclination to lay the wag with his neighbour the Stork.
He accordingly invited her to dinner in great form; but when it came upon the
table, the Stork found it consisted entirely of different soups, served up in
broad shallow dishes, so that he could only dip in the end of her bill, but
could not possibly satisfy her hunger, The Fox lapped it up very readily, and
every now and then, addressing himself to his guest, desired to know how she
liked her entertainment; hoped everything was seasoned to her mind; and
protested he was very sorry to see her eat so sparingly. The Stork, perceiving
she was played upon, took no notice of it, but pretended to like each dish
extremely; and at parting pressed the Fox so earnestly to return her visit that
he could not in civility refuse. The day arrived, and he repaired to his
appointment; but to his great mortification, when dinner appeared, he found it
composed of minced meat, served up in long narrow-necked glasses; so that he
was only tantalised with the sight of what it was impossible for him to taste.
The Stork thrust in her long bill, and helped herself very plentifully; then
turning to Reynard, who was eagerly licking the outside of a jar where some
sauce had been spilled: I am very glad, said she, smiling, that you seem to
have so good an appetite; I hope you will make as hearty a dinner at my table,
as I did the other day at yours. Reynard hung down his head, and looked very
much displeased. - Nay, nay, said the Stork, do not pretend to be out of humour
about the matter; they that cannot take a jest, should never make one.
Moral: Before we tease someone else we should always be
prepared to take a joke against ourselves.
'The Goat and the Goatherd', an illustration by John Vernon Lord
in Aesop's Fables; 1989, page 128.
The Goatherd who threw a Stone at the She-Goat
A BOY, whose business it was to
look after some Goats, as night began to fall, gathered them together to lead
them home. One of the number, a She-Goat, alone refused to obey his call, and
stood on a ledge of a rock, nibbling the herbage that grew there. The boy lost
all patience, and taking up a great stone, threw it at the Goat with all his
force The stone struck one of the horns of the Goat, and broke it off at the
middle. The Boy, terrified at what he had done and fearing his master’s anger,
threw himself upon his knees before the Goat, and begged her to say nothing
about the mishap, alleging that it was far from his intention to throw the
stone so well. “Tush!” replied the Goat. “Let my tongue be ever so silent, my
horn is sure to tell the tale.”
Moral:It is difficult to conceal the truth when it
is already staring you in the face.
Text: Joseph Benjamin Rundell (p91,
Selected Parallels: Babrius 3. Chambry 15. Perry 280. TMI J1082.1.
'The Woman and Her Hen', an illustration by John Vernon Lord
in Aesop's Fables; 1989, page 124.
The Woman and Her Hen
possessed a Hen that gave her an egg every day.
She often thought with herself how she might obtain two eggs daily
instead of one, and at last, to gain her purpose, determined to give the Hen a
double allowance of barley. From that
day the Hen became fat and sleek, and never once laid another egg.
who are too greedy often overreach themselves and lose what they already have.
Text: George Fyler Townsend (p125, 1868).
Selected parallels: L’Estrange 1/87. Chambry
90. Perry 58. TMI J1901.1.
'The Thirsty Pigeon', an illustration by John Vernon Lord
in Aesop's Fables; 1989, page 122.
The Thirsty Pigeon and the Picture
A PIGEON severely pressed by thirst, seeing a glass of water
painted upon a sign, supposed it to be real; so dashing down at it with all her
might, she struck against the board, and breaking her wing, fell helpless to
the ground, where she was quickly captured by one of the passers-by.
Moral: Rushing into things without due thought and
consideration can lead into disaster.
Text: Thomas James (133, 1848).
Selected parallels: Chambry 301. Perry 201. TMI J1792.1.
'The Mole and Her Mother', an illustration by John Vernon Lord
in Aesop's Fables; 1989, page 118.
The Mole and Her
The young Mole snuffed up her nose, and told her Dam she
smelt an odd kind of smell. Bye and bye, O strange! says she, what a noise
there is in my ears as if ten thousand hammers were going. A little after, she
was at it again: look, look, what is that I see yonder? it is just like the
flame of a fiery furnace. The Dam replied, pray child hold your idle tongue;
and if you would have us allow you any sense at all, do not affect to shew more
than nature has given you.
Moral: The imperfections of
boasters would not be half so much taken notice of if their own vanity did not
draw attention to them.
Text: Thomas Bewick (p27, 1818).
Selected Parallels: L’Estrange 1/136. Chambry 326. Perry 214. TMI J958.