A man had a donkey(驴) and a very beautiful dog.
The donkey(驴) lived outside the house, but had plenty to eat.
The dog was his master(主人)’s favorite, and often played with him.
The donkey(驴) worked hard on the farm, carrying wood from the forest.
He often compared his life with that of the dog, who lived an easy life in the house with his master(主人).
One day he ran into the house.
He tried to jump up to his master(主人) as he had seen the dog do, but he broke the table and all the dishes.
He then tried to lick(舔) his master(主人) and jumped on his back.
The farm workers quickly came back and beat the donkey(驴) out of the house.
The donkey(驴) thought to himself, “It’s all my fault(错误)! Why couldn’t I just be happy with my life?”
MORAL: Be satisfied with what you have.
Some dolphins(海豚) argued with some whales(鲸), and before long they began fighting with each other.
The battle was very fierce(激烈的), and lasted for some time without any sign of coming to an end.
Then a small fish thought that he could stop it.
He tried to persuade(说服) them to give up(放弃) fighting and make friends.
However, one of the dolphins(海豚) said to him, “We would rather go on fighting until we’re all killed than listen to a small fish like you!”
MORAL: If you’re not important, no-one will listen to you, even if you are right.
A dog and a rooster(公鸡) became great friends, and agreed to travel together.
At sunset(日落), the rooster(公鸡) flew up into a tree to sleep, while the dog lay down in a hole in the tree.
The next morning, the rooster(公鸡) woke up(醒来), and as usual, started to crow(打鸣).
A fox(狐狸) heard this, and wishing to make breakfast of him, came and stood under the tree and told him to come down.
“I would like,” he said, “to make friends with someone who has such a beautiful voice.”
The rooster(公鸡) replied, “Would you just wake up(唤醒) my friends who is sleeping at the bottom of the tree? He’ll open the door and let you in.”
The fox(狐狸) knocked on the tree, and the dog came out and tore him apart(扯开).
MORAL: He who lays traps(圈套) for others is often caught by them himself.
A barking(狂吠的) dog was lying on the hay(干草堆) that the farmer had put down for the cows.
The cows could not eat the hay(干草堆) because they were scared(害怕) of the doy.
“What a selfish(自私的) dog!” said one of them. “He can’t eat the hay(干草堆) himself, but he won’t allow us to eat it either.”
MORAL: We should not prevent(阻止) others from enjoying what we can’t enjoy ourselves.
A dog was crossing a river bridge with some meat in his mouth.
Suddenly, he saw his own shadow(影子) in the water, and thought it was another dog with a bigger piece of meat.
He dropped his piece of meat and attacked the other dog, to try and get the bigger piece from him.
So he lost his piece of meat, which dropped into the river and floated away(漂走).
MORAL: It is not wise to be too greedy(贪婪的).
A dog was chasing(追捕) a rabbit, sometims biting her with his teeth as if he would eat her, and other times playing with her as if with another dog.
The rabbit said to him, “What do you want with me? If you are a friend, why do you bite me so hard? If you are an enemy, why do you play with me?
MORAL: Those whom you cannot always trust are not your friends.
A deer(鹿), being chased(追捕) by hunters(猎人), hid himself behind the large leaves of a vine(藤蔓).
The hunters(猎人) passed by(经过) without noticing him.
Thinking that the danger had passed, the deer(鹿) began to eat the leaves of the vine(藤蔓).
One of the hunters(猎人) heard this and looked back.
He saw the deer(鹿) and then shot him.
The deer(鹿), close to death, said, “I deserve(应得) this. I shouldn’t have treated the vine(藤蔓) that saved me this way.”
MORAL: The ungrateful(忘恩负义) will not be helped a second time.
A king had some monkeys trained to dance.
Since they were already used to copying men’s actions, they learned very quickly, and when dressed in their rich clothes and masks(面具), they dances as well as anyone in the King’s palace.
They danced for many nights and everybody loved their dance.
Then someone, for a joke, took from his pocket a handfull of(少量) nuts(坚果) and threw them upon the stage.
At the sight of the nuts(坚果), the monkeys forgot their dancing and became(as indeed they were) monkeys instead of actors.
Pulling off(取下) their masks(面具) and tearing off(撕下) their clothes, they fought with one another for the nuts(坚果).
The show thus came to an end(结束), with the audience(观众) laughing loudly at(嘲笑) the monkeys.
MORAL: You can’t hide your true nature forever(永远).
A very thirsty crow(乌鸦) saw a water bottle and flew to it, hoping to find water inside.
He realized that there was too little water for him to reach to drink.
He tried everything he could to reach the water, but failed. At last, he collected as many stones as he could carry, and dropped them one by one into the bottle, until the water level was high enough for him to drink.
MORAL: Necessity is the mother of invention.
A crab(螃蟹) said to her son, “Why do you walk sideways(侧着), my child? It is much better to walk straight forward.”
The young crab(螃蟹) replied, “True, dear mother, If you will show me how to do it, I will try to do that too.”
The mother tried to walk straight, but couldn’t do it.
MORAL: It’s better to teach than simply to tell.
The cows once decided to kill the butchers(屠夫), whose job was to kill them.
They got together one day, and prepared to fight.
One of the oldest then said, “It is true that these butchers(屠夫) kill us, but they do that with skillful hands, and give us little pain.
If we kill them all, we’ll suffer(遭受) more under unskillful(不熟练的) hands. You can be sure that even if all the butchers(屠夫) die, men will still want beef.”
MORAL: Better the evil you know than the one you don’t know.
The gods were once arguing whether it was possible for a living thing to change its nature.
Zeus said, “Yes,” but Aphrodite said, “No.”
So, to test this, Zeus turned a cat into a girl, and gave her to a young man for a wife.
The wedding happened and the young couple sat down to the wedding meal.
“See,” said Zeus, to Aphrodite, “how well she behaves(表现). Who could tell that yesterday she was a cat? Surely her nature is changed?”
“Wait a minute,” replied Aphrodite, and let a mouse loose(释放) into the room.
When the bride(新娘) saw this, she jumped up and tried to catch the mouse.
“Ah, you see,” said Aphrodite, “true nature will come out.”
MORAL: Try as you may, it is impossible to deny(否认) your nature.
A house was full of mice.
A cat went into the house and began to catch and eat them one by one.
The mice then hid away(躲藏) in their holes.
The cat couldn’t catch them anymore, so she thought of a way to get them to come out. To do this she pretended(假装) to be dead.
When the mice came near, she jumped up and caught many of them.
Pleased with the success of this, she tried another plan.
She covered herself with flour(面粉), and lay on some flour(面粉) bags, as if she were one of them.
The young mice got close to her, but an old mouse said, “I have seen many bags in my day, but never one with a cat’s head. Even if you turn into a real flour(面粉) bag, I will not come near you.”
MORAL: Don’t be tricked(欺骗) twice by the same person.
A calf(牛犊) saw an ox(公牛) hard at work, and teased(取笑) him about his unhappy life of labor(劳动).
Shortly after, the farmer freed the ox(公牛), but tied up(捆绑) the calf(牛犊), and led her away to be killed for the festival.
The ox(公牛) saw what was being done, and said to the calf(牛犊), “They let you lead an easy life, because you were going to be sacrificed(被献祭).”
MORAL: If you do no useful work, you will not be missed.
An old man had three sons who were always arguing and fighting.
To convince(说服) them to help and support each other, he ordered them to bring in a bundle of(一捆) sticks, and said to his eldest son, “Break it.”
The son tried and tried, but with all his efforts was unable to break the bundle(捆).
The other sons also tried, but none of them was successful.
“Untie the bundle(捆),” said the father, “and each of you take a stick.”
When they had done so, he called out to them, “Now, break,” and each stick was easily broken. “You see my meaning?” said their father.
MORAL: Unity is strength.
A bull(公牛), finding a lion’s baby son asleep, killed the baby with his horns(角).
The lioness came up, and bitterly(痛苦地) wept(哭泣) over the death of her son.
A hunter(猎人), seeing her weep(哭泣), stood at a distance and said to her, “How many children have you killed yourself?”
MORAL: We think about how others hurt us, but we don’t think about how we hurt them.
Some boys, playing near a pond(池塘), saw a number of frogs(青蛙) in the water, and began to throw stones at them.
They killed several of them, when one of the frogs(青蛙), lifting his head out of the water, cried out, “Please stop my boys. What is sport to you is death to us.”
MORAL: What we do for fun often makes great trouble for others.
A boy was swimming in a river and went so far out that he was in danger of(有……危险) drowning(淹死).
He saw a man walking by and shouted loudly for the man to save him.
But instead of saving him, the man began to tell the boy how stupid he was to swim in deep water.
Finally, the boy shouted, “Please save me now, and save the teaching for later!”
MORAL: Help is more useful than advice.
A boy watching some sheep near a village called out the villagers three or four times, “Wolf(狼)! Wolf(狼)!”
When his neighbors came to help him, he laughed at(嘲笑) them.
A wolf(狼), however, did come at last.
The boy, now really afraid, shouted, ” Please come and help me; the wolf(狼) is killing the sheep.”
But no one paid any attention to(注意) his cries.
MORAL: A liar will not be believed even when telling the truth.
A boy put his hand into a jar(罐子) full of nuts(坚果).
He grabbed(抓住) as many as he could, but when he tried to pull out his hand, he couldn’t, because the neck of the jar(罐子) wasn’t wide enough.
Not wanting to lose his nuts(坚果), and yet unable to take out his hand, he felt disappointed and started to cry.
Someone said to him, “Be satisfied with(满意) half the amount, and you will easily pull out your hand.”
MORAL: Do not attempt too much at once.