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    Басни на английском языке.

    The Ant and the Dove

    AN ANT went to the bank of a river to quench its thirst, and  being carried away by the rush of the stream, was on the point of  drowning.  A Dove sitting on a tree overhanging the water plucked  a leaf and let it fall into the stream close to her.  The Ant  climbed onto it and floated in safety to the bank.  Shortly  afterwards a birdcatcher came and stood under the tree, and laid  his lime-twigs for the Dove, which sat in the branches.  The Ant,  perceiving his design, stung him in the foot.  In pain the  birdcatcher threw down the twigs, and the noise made the Dove  take wing.

    "One good turn deserves another”

    The Ass in the Lion’s Skin

    An Ass once found a Lion’s skin which the hunters had left out in the sun to dry.  He put it on and went towards his native village.  All fled at his approach, both men and animals, and he was a proud Ass that day.  In his delight he lifted up his voice and brayed, but then every one knew him, and his owner came up and gave him a sound cudgeling for the fright he had caused.  And shortly afterwards a Fox came up to him and said: "Ah, I knew you by your voice.”

    "Fine clothes may disguise, but silly words will disclose a fool.”

    The Bald Man and the Fly

    A FLY bit the bare head of a Bald Man who, endeavoring to destroy  it, gave himself a heavy slap.  Escaping, the Fly said mockingly,  "You who have wished to revenge, even with death, the Prick of a  tiny insect, see what you have done to yourself to add insult to  injury?’  The Bald Man replied, "I can easily make peace with  myself, because I know there was no intention to hurt.  But you,  an ill-favored and contemptible insect who delights in sucking  human blood, I wish that I could have killed you even if I had  incurred a heavier penalty.”

    "Revenge will hurt the avenger”

    The Bear and the Two Travelers

    TWO MEN were traveling together, when a Bear suddenly met them on  their path.  One of them climbed up quickly into a tree and  concealed himself in the branches.  The other, seeing that he  must be attacked, fell flat on the ground, and when the Bear came  up and felt him with his snout, and smelt him all over, he held  his breath, and feigned the appearance of death as much as he  could.  The Bear soon left him, for it is said he will not touch  a dead body.  When he was quite gone, the other Traveler  descended from the tree, and jocularly inquired of his friend  what it was the Bear had whispered in his ear.  "He gave me this  advice,” his companion replied.  "Never travel with a friend who  deserts you at the approach of danger.” 

    "Misfortune tests the sincerity of friends.”

    The Bee and Jupiter

    A BEE from Mount Hymettus, the queen of the hive, ascended to  Olympus to present Jupiter some honey fresh from her combs.   Jupiter, delighted with the offering of honey, promised to give  whatever she should ask.  She therefore besought him, saying,  "Give me, I pray thee, a sting, that if any mortal shall approach  to take my honey, I may kill him.”  Jupiter was much displeased,  for he loved the race of man, but could not refuse the request  because of his promise.  He thus answered the Bee:  "You shall  have your request, but it will be at the peril of your own life.   For if you use your sting, it shall remain in the wound you make,  and then you will die from the loss of it.” 

    "Evil wishes, like chickens, come home to roost.”

    The Boys and the Frogs

    SOME BOYS, playing near a pond, saw a number of Frogs in the  water and began to pelt them with stones.  They killed several of  them, when one of the Frogs, lifting his head out of the water,  cried out:  "Pray stop, my boys:  what is sport to you, is death to  us.”

    "One man’s pleasure may be another’s pain.”-

    The Cat and Venus

    A CAT fell in love with a handsome young man, and entreated Venus  to change her into the form of a woman.  Venus consented to her  request and transformed her into a beautiful damsel, so that the  youth saw her and loved her, and took her home as his bride.   While the two were reclining in their chamber, Venus wishing to  discover if the Cat in her change of shape had also altered her  habits of life, let down a mouse in the middle of the room.  The  Cat, quite forgetting her present condition, started up from the  couch and pursued the mouse, wishing to eat it.  Venus was much  disappointed and again caused her to return to her former shape.

    "Nature exceeds nurture.”

    The Dog and the Hare

    A HOUND having started a Hare on the hillside pursued her for  some distance, at one time biting her with his teeth as if he  would take her life, and at another fawning upon her, as if in  play with another dog.  The Hare said to him, "I wish you would  act sincerely by me, and show yourself in your true colors.  If  you are a friend, why do you bite me so hard? If an enemy, why do  you fawn on me?’ 

    "No one can be a friend if you know not whether to trust or distrust him.”

    The Dog and the Wolf

    A gaunt Wolf was almost dead with hunger when he happened to  meet a House-dog who was passing by.  "Ah, Cousin,” said the Dog.   "I knew how it would be; your irregular life will soon be the ruin  of you.  Why do you not work steadily as I do, and get your food  regularly given to you?” "I would have no objection,” said the Wolf, "if I could only  get a place.” "I will easily arrange that for you,” said the Dog; "come with  me to my master and you shall share my work.” So the Wolf and the Dog went towards the town together.  On  the way there the Wolf noticed that the hair on a certain part of  the Dog’s neck was very much worn away, so he asked him how that  had come about. "Oh, it is nothing,” said the Dog.  "That is only the place  where the collar is put on at night to keep me chained up; it  chafes a bit, but one soon gets used to it.” "Is that all?” said the Wolf.  "Then good-bye to you, Master  Dog.”

    "Better starve free than be a fat slave.”

    The Dogs and the Fox

    SOME DOGS, finding the skin of a lion, began to tear it in pieces  with their teeth.  A Fox, seeing them, said, "If this lion were  alive, you would soon find out that his claws were stronger than  your teeth.”   "It is easy to kick a man that is down.” The Eagle and the Fox  AN EAGLE and a Fox formed an intimate friendship and decided to  live near each other.  The Eagle built her nest in the branches  of a tall tree, while the Fox crept into the underwood and there  produced her young.  Not long after they had agreed upon this  plan, the Eagle, being in want of provision for her young ones,  swooped down while the Fox was out, seized upon one of the little  cubs, and feasted herself and her brood.  The Fox on her return,  discovered what had happened, but was less grieved for the death  of her young than for her inability to avenge them.  A just  retribution, however, quickly fell upon the Eagle.  While  hovering near an altar, on which some villagers were sacrificing  a goat, she suddenly seized a piece of the flesh, and carried it,  along with a burning cinder, to her nest.  A strong breeze soon  fanned the spark into a flame, and the eaglets, as yet unfledged  and helpless, were roasted in their nest and dropped down dead at  the bottom of the tree.  There, in the sight of the Eagle, the  Fox gobbled them up.

    The Fox and the Grapes

    One hot summer’s day a Fox was strolling through an orchard  till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which  had been trained over a lofty branch.  "Just the thing to quench  my thirst,” quote he.  Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and  a jump, and just missed the bunch.  Turning round again with a  One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success.  Again  and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to  give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: "I  am sure they are sour.”

    "It is easy to despise what you cannot get.”

    The Fox Who Had Lost His Tail

    A FOX caught in a trap escaped, but in so doing lost his tail.   Thereafter, feeling his life a burden from the shame and ridicule  to which he was exposed, he schemed to convince all the other  Foxes that being tailless was much more attractive, thus making  up for his own deprivation.  He assembled a good many Foxes and  publicly advised them to cut off their tails, saying that they  would not only look much better without them, but that they would  get rid of the weight of the brush, which was a very great  inconvenience.  One of them interrupting him said, "If you had  not yourself lost your tail, my friend, you would not thus  counsel us.”

    The Hares and the Frogs

    The Hares were so persecuted by the other beasts, they did not  know where to go.  As soon as they saw a single animal approach  them, off they used to run.  One day they saw a troop of wild  Horses stampeding about, and in quite a panic all the Hares  scuttled off to a lake hard by, determined to drown themselves  rather than live in such a continual state of fear.  But just as  they got near the bank of the lake, a troop of Frogs, frightened  in their turn by the approach of the Hares scuttled off, and  jumped into the water.  "Truly,” said one of the Hares, "things  are not so bad as they seem: "There is always someone worse off than yourself.”

    The Wolf and the Kid

    A Kid was perched up on the top of a house, and looking down  saw a Wolf passing under him.  Immediately he began to revile and  attack his enemy.  "Murderer and thief,” he cried, "what do you  here near honest folks’ houses?  How dare you make an appearance  where your vile deeds are known?” "Curse away, my young friend,” said the Wolf.

    "It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.”

    The Lion and the Eagle

    AN EAGLE stayed his flight and entreated a Lion to make an  alliance with him to their mutual advantage.  The Lion replied,  "I have no objection, but you must excuse me for requiring you to  find surety for your good faith, for how can I trust anyone as a  friend who is able to fly away from his bargain whenever he  pleases?’ 

    "Try before you trust.”

    The Lion and the Mouse

    Once when a Lion was asleep a little Mouse began running up  and down upon him; this soon wakened the Lion, who placed his huge  paw upon him, and opened his big jaws to swallow him.  "Pardon, O  King,” cried the little Mouse: "forgive me this time, I shall  never forget it: who knows but what I may be able to do you a turn  some of these days?”  The Lion was so tickled at the idea of the  Mouse being able to help him, that he lifted up his paw and let  him go.  Some time after the Lion was caught in a trap, and the  hunters who desired to carry him alive to the King, tied him to a  tree while they went in search of a wagon to carry him on. Just  then the little Mouse happened to pass by, and seeing the sad  plight in which the Lion was, went up to him and soon gnawed away  the ropes that bound the King of the Beasts. "Was I not right?”  said the little mouse, after the lion had gotten out for a freedom.

    "Little friends may prove great friends.”

    The Lion in Love

    A LION demanded the daughter of a woodcutter in marriage.  The  Father, unwilling to grant, and yet afraid to refuse his request,  hit upon this expedient to rid himself of his importunities.  He  expressed his willingness to accept the Lion as the suitor of his  daughter on one condition:  that he should allow him to extract  his teeth, and cut off his claws, as his daughter was fearfully  afraid of both.  The Lion cheerfully assented to the proposal.   But when the toothless, clawless Lion returned to repeat his  request, the Woodman, no longer afraid, set upon him with his  club, and drove him away into the forest.

    The Lion’s Share

    The Lion went once a-hunting along with the Fox, the Jackal,  and the Wolf.  They hunted and they hunted till at last they  surprised a Stag, and soon took its life.  Then came the question  how the spoil should be divided.  "Quarter me this Stag,” roared  the Lion; so the other animals skinned it and cut it into four  parts.  Then the Lion took his stand in front of the carcass and  pronounced judgment:  The first quarter is for me in my capacity  as King of Beasts; the second is mine as arbiter; another share  comes to me for my part in the chase; and as for the fourth  quarter, well, as for that, I should like to see which of you will  dare to lay a paw upon it.” "Humph,” grumbled the Fox as he walked away with his tail  between his legs; but he spoke in a low growl. "You may share the labours of the great, but you will not share the spoil.”

    The Monkey and the Dolphin

    A SAILOR, bound on a long voyage, took with him a Monkey to amuse  him while on shipboard.  As he sailed off the coast of Greece, a  violent tempest arose in which the ship was wrecked and he, his  Monkey, and all the crew were obliged to swim for their lives.  A  Dolphin saw the Monkey contending with the waves, and supposing  him to be a man (whom he is always said to befriend), came and  placed himself under him, to convey him on his back in safety to  the shore.  When the Dolphin arrived with his burden in sight of  land not far from Athens, he asked the Monkey if he were an  Athenian.  The latter replied that he was, and that he was  descended from one of the most noble families in that city.  The  Dolphin then inquired if he knew the Piraeus (the famous harbor  of Athens).  Supposing that a man was meant, the Monkey answered  that he knew him very well and that he was an intimate friend.   The Dolphin, indignant at these falsehoods, dipped the Monkey  under the water and drowned him.

    The Monkeys and Their Mother

    THE MONKEY, it is said, has two young ones at each birth.  The  Mother fondles one and nurtures it with the greatest affection  and care, but hates and neglects the other.  It happened once  that the young one which was caressed and loved was smothered by  the too great affection of the Mother, while the despised one was  nurtured and reared in spite of the neglect to which it was  exposed. 

    "The best intentions will not always ensure success.”

    The Nurse and the Wolf

    "Be quiet now,” said an old Nurse to a child sitting on her  lap.  "If you make that noise again I will throw you to the Wolf.” Now it chanced that a Wolf was passing close under the window as this was said.  So he crouched down by the side of the house and waited.  "I am in good luck to-day,” thought he.  "It is sure to cry soon, and a daintier morsel I haven’t had for many a long day.”  So he waited, and he waited, and he waited, till at last the child began to cry, and the Wolf came forward before the window, and looked up to the Nurse, wagging his tail.  But all the Nurse did was to shut down the window and call for help, and the dogs of the house came rushing out.  "Ah,” said the Wolf as he galloped away,

    "Enemies promises were made to be broken.”

    The Shepherd’s Boy and the 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!”  and when his neighbors came to help him, 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, at his leisure  lacerated or destroyed the whole flock. 

    "There is no believing a liar, even when he speaks the truth.”

    The Kid and the Wolf

    A KID, returning without protection from the pasture, was pursued  by a Wolf.  Seeing he could not escape, he turned round, and  said:  "I know, friend Wolf, that I must be your prey, but before  I die I would ask of you one favor you will play me a tune to  which I may dance.”  The Wolf complied, and while he was piping  and the Kid was dancing, some hounds hearing the sound ran up and  began chasing the Wolf.  Turning to the Kid, he said, "It is just  what I deserve; for I, who am only a butcher, should not have  turned piper to please you.”

    "In time of dire need, clever thinking is key or outwit your enemy to save your skin.”

    The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

    A Wolf found great difficulty in getting at the sheep owing to  the vigilance of the shepherd and his dogs.  But one day it found  the skin of a sheep that had been flayed and thrown aside, so it  put it on over its own pelt and strolled down among the sheep.   The Lamb that belonged to the sheep, whose skin the Wolf was  wearing, began to follow the Wolf in the Sheep’s clothing; so,  leading the Lamb a little apart, he soon made a meal off her, and  for some time he succeeded in deceiving the sheep, and enjoying  hearty meals.

    "Appearances are deceptive.”

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