The Donkey in the Lion's Skin • One day, a donkey found a lion's skin left in the forest by a hunter, and wishing to amuse himself and to feel powerful, put it on, scaring all the animals he met on his way. He was very proud of himself and felt like a real king. But in his delight, he opened his mouth and brayed in triumph. • The moment he heard the donkey’s voice, a fox who was running frightened as well, stopped suddenly and began to laugh. Approaching the donkey, he exclaimed,“You could have fooled me, too, had I not heard your bray.”
The Tortoise and the Hare • The hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. "I have never yet been beaten," said he, "when I put forth my full speed. I challenge anyone here to race with me.” • The tortoise said quietly, "I accept your challenge.” • "That is a good joke," said the hare. "I could dance around you all the way.” • "Keep your boasting until you've beaten," answered the tortoise. "Shall we race?” • So a course was fixed and a start was made. The hare darted almost out of sight at once, but soon stopped and, to show his contempt for the tortoise, lay down to have a nap. The tortoise plodded on and plodded on, and when the hare awoke from his nap, he saw the tortoise nearing the finish line, and he could not catch up in time to save the race.
The Dog and His Reflection • It happened that a dog had got a piece of meat and was carrying it home in his mouth to eat it in peace. Now on his way home he had to cross a plank lying across a running brook. As he crossed, he looked down and saw his own shadow reflected in the water beneath. Thinking it was another dog with another piece of meat, he made up his mind to have that also. So he made a snap at the shadow in the water, but as he opened his mouth the piece of meat fell out, dropped into the water and was never seen more.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf • A shepherd-boy, who watched a flock of sheep near a village, brought out the villagers three or four times by crying out, "Wolf! Wolf!” Each time his neighbors came to help him, he laughed at them for their pains. • The wolf, however, did truly come at last. The shepherd-boy, now really alarmed, shouted in an agony of terror: "Pray, do come and help me! The wolf is killing the sheep!” But no one paid any heed to his cries, nor rendered any assistance. The Wolf, having no cause of fear, destroyed the whole flock.
The Ant and The Grasshoppeer • In a field one summer's day a grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content. An ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest. • "Why not come and chat with me," said the grasshopper, "instead of toiling and moiling in that way?" • "I am helping to lay up food for the winter," said the ant, "and recommend you to do the same." • "Why bother about winter?" said the grasshopper; "We have got plenty of food at present." But the ant went on its way and continued its toil. • When the winter came the grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger - while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the grasshopper knew: It is best to prepare for days of need.
The Peacock and the Crane • There was once a very conceited peacock who had a gorgeous tail like no other bird. So, when he met a crane one day, the peacock scoffed at the crane’s colorless and dull feathers, and immediately spread his own colorful tail for the crane to see and admire. • “Look at my feathers,” he boasted, how they shine in all the colors of the rainbow, while yours are so pale! I am dressed like a king!” • “That’s true,” the crane answered, “but I can fly high above, among the clouds and the stars and I can see all the beauty of the earth in all its glory, while you live down here just like any other bird.”