AESOP'S FABLES - online children's book

300 favourite fables with illustrations by Arthur Rackham

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A GRASSHOPPER sat chirping in the branches of a tree. A Fox heard her, and, thinking what a dainty morsel she would make, he tried to get her down by a trick. Standing below in full view of her, he praised her song in the most flattering terms, and begged her to descend, saying he would like to make the acquaint­ance of the owner of so beautiful a voice. But she was not to be taken in, and replied, You are very much mistaken, my dear sir, if you imagine I am going to come down : I keep well out of the way of you and your kind ever since the day when I saw numbers of grasshoppers' wings strewn about the entrance to a fox's earth.'
A FARMER had just sown a field of wheat, and was keeping a careful watch over it, for numbers of Rooks and starlings kept continually settling on it and eating up the grain. Along with him went his Boy, carrying a sling : and whenever the Farmer asked for the sling the starlings understood what he said and warned the Rooks and they were off in a moment. So the Farmer hit on a trick. ' My lad," said he, ' we must get the better of these birds somehow. After this, when I want the sling, I won't say ' sling,' but just ' humph !' and you must then hand me the sling quickly."