AESOP'S FABLES - online children's book

300 favourite fables with illustrations by Arthur Rackham

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T HERE was once a Charcoal-burner who lived and worked by himself. A Fuller, however, happened to come and settle in the same neighbourhood ; and the Charcoal-burner, having made his acquaintance and finding he was an agreeable sort of fellow, asked him if he would come and share his house : We shall get to know one another better that way/1 he said, ' and, beside, our household expenses will be diminished." The Fuller thanked him, but replied, I couldn't think of it, sir : why, everything I take such pains to whiten would be blackened in no time by your charcoal."
O NCE upon a time all the Mice met together in Council, and discussed the best means of securing themselves against the attacks of the cat. After several suggestions had been debated, a Mouse of some standing and experience got up and said,' I think I have hit upon a plan which will ensure our safety in the future, provided you approve and carry it out. It is that we should fasten a bell round the neck of our enemy the cat, which will by its tinkling warn us of her approach." This proposal was warmly applauded, and it had been already decided to adopt it, when an old Mouse got upon his feet and said, I agree with you all that the plan before us is an admir­able one : but may I ask who is going to bell the cat ? ' 4