Thursday, June 7, 2012

Aesop's Fables

For my Spanish homework yesterday, my teacher gave me Spanish fabulas (fables) to read, and my homework was to translate one from English to Spanish.  A fable is a short, fictional story intended to teach a moral lesson.  I'm part of an awesome book club on my Kindle, and my book club has a copy of Aesop's Fables.  After a 10 second wait while the book downloaded, isn't the Kindle amazing, I was ready to start reading.

During my insomnia last night, I read about half of the book.  It was fun reading these fables with the experiences of an adult.  The last time I read a fable was probably in middle school, and the lessons certainly didn't have such a great affect on me.

Here are a few of my favorite:

The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs

A man and his wife had the good fortune to possess a goose which laid a golden egg every day.  Lucky though they were, they soon began to think they were not getting rich fast enough, and, imagining the bird must be made of gold inside, they decided to kill it in order to secure the whole store of precious metal at once.  But when they cut it open they found it was just like any other goose.  Thus, they neither got rich all at once, as they had hoped, nor enjoyed any longer the daily addition to their wealth.  Much wants more and loses all.

The Mischievous Dog

There was once a dog who used to snap at people and bite them without any provocation, and who was a great nuisance to everyone who came to his master's house.  So his master fastened a bell round his neck to warn people of his presence.  The dog was very proud of the bell, and strutted about tinkling it with immense satisfaction.  But an old dog came up to him and said, "The fewer airs you give yourself the better, my friend.  You don't think, do you, that your bell was given to you as a reward of merit?  On the contrary, it is a badge of disgrace."  Notoriety is often mistaken for fame.

The North Wind and the Sun

A dispute arose between the North Wind and the Sun, each claiming that he was stronger than the other.  At last they agreed to try their powers upon a traveler, to see which could soonest strip him of his cloak.  The North Wind  had the first try, and gathered up all his force for the attack, he came whirling furiously down upon the man, and caught up his cloak as though he would wrest it from him by one single effort: but the harder he blew, the more closely the man wrapped it round himself.  Then came the turn of the Sun.  At first he beamed gently upon the traveler, who soon unclasped his cloak and walked on with it hanging loosely about his shoulders: then he shone forth in his full strength and the man, before he had gone many steps, was glad to throw his cloak right off and complete his journey more lightly clad.  Persuasion is better than force.

The Gnat and the Bull

A gnat alighted on one of the horns of a bull, and remained sitting there for a considerable time.  When it had rested sufficiently and was about to fly away, it said to the bull, "Do you mind if I go now?"  The bull merely raised his eyes and remarked, without interest, "It's all one to me; I didn't notice when you came, and I shan't notice when you go away."  We may often be of more consequence in our own eyes than in the eyes of our neighbors.

The Donkey and his Burdens

A peddler who owned a donkey one day bought a quantity of salt and loaded up his beast with as much as he could bear.  On the way home the donkey stumbled as he was crossing the stream and fell into the water.  The salt got thoroughly soaked and much of it melted and drained away, so that, when he got on his legs again, the donkey found his load had become much less heavy.  His master, however, drove him back to town and bought more salt, which he added to what remained in the panniers, and started out again.  No sooner had they reached a stream than the donkey lay down in it, and rose as before, with a much lighter load.  But his master detected the trick, and turning back once more, bought a large number of sponges, and piled them on the back of the donkey.  When they came to the stream the donkey again lay down: but this time, as the sponges soaked up large quantities of water, he found when he got up on his legs, that he had a bigger burden to carry than ever.  You may play a good card once too often.

What is your favorite fable?  

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