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The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.
THE BOYS AND THE FROGS
SOME boys were one day idling by the side oi a pond, and whenever a Frog lifted its head from the water, the boys would pelt it with stones. "Boys," said a Frog, "this may be fun for you, but it is death for us."
The old fables were written to each a lesson of some kind, and it was usually stated in a "Moral" at the end of the fable. We do not need to be told the moral of this little piece, but it is a great deal bigger and broader than one might think. Many times we are stoning frogs when we play a practical joke on our friends, or frighten children younger than ourselves.
THE DOG AND HIS SHADOW
A BIG Dog carrying a big piece of meat in his mouth was one day crossing a river on a narrow bridge. Chancing to look into the water, he saw his own image reflected there, but thought it was another dog with a bigger piece of meat. He opened his mouth to grab the other's piece of meat iind lost his own in the river.
Greedy people often come to grief.
FOX once saw a Crow fly off with a piece of cheese in its heak and settle on a branch of a tree.
"That's for me, as I am a Fox," said Master Renard, and he walked up to the foot of the tree.
"Good-day, Mistress Crow," he cried. "How well you are looking to-day; how glossy your feathers; how bright your eye. I feel sure your voice must surpass that of other birds, just as your figure does; let me hear you sing, that I may call you queen of birds."
The Crow lifted up her head and began to caw her best, but the moment she opened her mouth the piece of cheese fell to the ground, only to be snapped up by Master Fox.
"That will do," said he. "That was all I wanted. For your cheese I will give you a piece of advice: Do not trust flatterers."
THE BOY AND THE NETTLE
A LITTLE boy, playing in the fields, chanced . to be stung by a nettle, and came crying to his father.
"That nasty weed has hurt me several times. Now, I am always afraid of it, and touched it as lightly as possible. Why should it sting me so?"
"Child," said the father, "your touching it so gently and timorously is the very reason it hurt you. A nettle may be handled safely: if you seize it boldly and grip it fast, be assured it will never sting you."
Many little things that annoy and pain us greatly may be made harmless if we act boldly and fearlessly. The water is cold to the boy who stands in it knee-deep, but it feels warm to the one who has plunged quickly in and is swimming about.
THE ASS IN THE LION'S SKIN
,N ASS dressed himself in a .lion's skin and went about frightening the little animals by his roaring. After a while he met a Fox and tried to scare him also. But the Fox, not frightened in the least, called out to the Ass, "You silly Ass, I might have been frightened if I had not heard you bray, and seen your ears sticking out of the lion's skin!"
Many people who dress finely show by their manners and their speech that they are very common after all.
THE FROG WHO WISHED TO BE AS BIG AS AN OX
AN Ox, grazing in a meadow, chanced to set his xVfoot on a young Frog and crushed him to death. The Frog's brothers and sisters, who were playing near, at once ran to tell their mother what had happened.
"The monster that did it, mother, was such a size!" said they.
The mother, who was a vain old thing, thought she could easily make herself as large. "Was it as big as this?" she asked, blowing and puffing herself out.
"Oh, much bigger than that," replied the young Frogs.
"As this, then?" cried she, puffing and blowing again with all her might.
"Nay, mother," said they; "if you were to try till you burst yourself, you would never be so big."
The silly old Frog tried to puff herself out still more, and burst herself indeed.
Many a man ruins his business and himself in trying to be something for which Nature never intended him.
By Robert Louis Stevenson
It is very nice to think