AESOP'S FABLES - online children's book

300 favourite fables with illustrations by Arthur Rackham

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A FLEA once said to an Ox, ' How comes it that a "" big strong fellow like you is content to serve mankind, and do all their hard work for them, while I, who am no bigger than you see, live on their bodies and drink my fill of their blood, and never do a stroke for it all ? ' To which the Ox replied, ' Men are very kind to me, and so I am grateful to them : they feed and house me well, and every now and then they show their fondness for me by patting me on the head and neck." They'd pat me, too," said the Flea, ' if I let them: but I take good care they don't, or there would be nothing left of me."
T HE Birds were at war with the Beasts, and many battles were fought with varying success on either side. The Bat did not throw in his lot definitely with either party, but when things went well for the Birds he was found fighting in their ranks; when, on the other hand, the Beasts got the upper hand, he was to be found among the Beasts. No one paid any atten­tion to him while the war lasted : but when it was over, and peace was restored, neither the Birds nor the Beasts would have anything to do with so doublefaced a traitor, and so he remains to this day a solitary outcast from both.