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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES







rrni.r>HKi> r. Y Tin:
AME1UCAX TRA<'T SoCTKTV



FABLES



FOR THE YOUNG FOLKS.



BY MRS. PROSSER.



ncrfo tbc bcusts, anir



t." |ob rii. Z.




BOSTON:
THE AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY,

DEPOSITORIES, 28 CORNIIILL, BOSTON ; AND 13 BIBLE
HOUSE, ASTOK PLACE, NEW YORK.

Cc. i^7o]






REPRINTED FROM THE LONDON RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY



4-



PEEFACE BY THE AMERICAN PUBLISHEES.



MANY a profitable lesson in morals is best taught indi-
rectly. A foolish act or speech will appear in its real light
when attributed to one of the inferior animals, and a child
may receive the instruction when he might be unmoved
by direct admonition. Nor need it be feared that the true
character of the fable will be mistaken ; that what is the
mere vehicle of truth will be literally received as the truth
itself.

" I shall not ask J. J. Rousseau
If birds confabulate, or no :
'Tis clear that they were always able
To hold discourse, at least in fable ;
And e'en the child, that knows no better
Than to interpret by the letter
A story of a cock or bull,
Must have a most uncommon skull."

COWPER.



544977



CONTENTS.



PAOK

EVERY ONE IN HIS OWN WAY 7-

Two SIDES TO A TALE , . . .8

WHO'D BE A DONKEY? .II 4

LOOK AT HOME . . .15

JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS . . . 16

THE OAK AND THE IVY t . . . .19

THE CROWING COCK . . . . .20

THE PANIC; OR, WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?. ...... 23

THE OWL THAT THOUGHT HE COULD SIHG ...... 28**

THE COMPLAINT OF THE EAST WIND .- . . '. . . . 31

THE REFLECTIONS OF A PEACOCK . . , . . . . . .33

RUBY AND DROVER . . ..... . . . .35

BUSINESS FIRST, AND PLEASURE AFTERWARD , 39

THE LEMONS AND THE SODA 42

THE BIRD WHO LOVED THE SUN 43

CIRCUMSTANCES ALTER CASES . . . 44

THE MILL-HORSE AND THE RACER . . : . , ' . . . .47

DROVER AND THE TINKER'S DOG -49

MORE WINTER BEFORE SPRING ........ 54

HEART'S-EASE ............ 57

OUR LOTS ARE EVEN 60

SNARLER AND DROVER 62

EFFECT FOR CAUSE .......... . &4

THE SWALLOWS . . . . ... . . . .67

THE SNOW AND THE FLOWERS 69

THE DONKEY AND THE PACK-HORSE . * . . . - .71

THE DUCKLING AND THE WATER-HEN 72

THE VICAH'S PEAS . . . . . , . . . . .75
THINK OF OTHERS . . . , . . . . .79

LITTLE AND GOOD . . . . \ 81

LOOK IN THE GLASS . . . . . '.. . . . .82

THE SQUIRREL AND THE MASTIFF . ** . . * . . 83

TRUTH NOT ALWAYS PLEASANT ........ 85

THE DONKEY PHILOSOPHER ......... 87

A WORD TO THE CURIOUS 90



CONTENTS.



PAGE

THE WORLD CAN GO ON WITHOUT us 92

THE FURNACE FOR GOLD . . . *' ... .93
TRIFLES, TRIFLES, TRIFLES . . . . / /.

No ROOM FOR PRIDE . . .... .90

OLD DOGS AND YOUNG . . 97

DOCTORS SELDOM LIKE THEIR OWN PHYSIC . , . ... .100

LINKS IN THE CHAIN 103

WHERE THE FAULT LIES 105

A NEW LIGHT ON THINGS 106

LIVE AND LET LIVE 107

GIVE AND TAKE 108

NOT QUITE so BAD AS REPORTL i> Ill

MAKE THE BEST OF IT ' .115

PREACHING AND PRACTICING 117

ABOVE THE CLOUD 118

THE OWL THAT WROTE A BOOK 119

How DROVER GOT A DINNER 121

THE THRUSH AND THE CATERPILLAR 127

NOT A PIN TO CHOOSE 129

KNOW YOUR FRIENDS 130

How TO KNOW A GOOSE . . .131

THE THREE COLORS 132

SOMETHING FOR BOTH SIDES 133

" MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING " 134

" WHAT'S LAW FOR THEE is LAW FOR 31 K " 136

THE BROOK .138

AN AWKWARD QUESTION ......... 140

THE WORTH OF OPINION . . . . 143

" HOME, SWEET HOME 1 " '..-. .144

BAD TILLAGE 147

NOT THE FAULT OF THE TKUMPET 147

A LIVING DOG BETTER THAN A DEAD LION 148

BEWARE OF THE FOWLER V . .149

THE WILLOW-STUMP AND THE FINGER-POST . . . ; .152

THE WAY TO CONQUER . . . '.'.' 154

BUTTERCUPS AND DAISIES 155

How CAN THE BLIND SEE? 156

WHERE TO BEG AND PROSPER 158



fafcfe.



EVERY ONE IN HIS OWN WAY.

" WHAT, no farther ! " said the minute-hand to the
hour-hand of the timepiece. "Why, I have been
all round the dial since we parted-; and there are
you, just one figure from the place where I left
you."

" And yet I have done as much work in the time
as you have," answered the hour-hand.

" How do you make that out ? " asked the other,
as he advanced to pass him.

" So" was the reply. " Your journey all round,
and mine from figure to figure, are each an hour's
value ; all are not able to arrive at the same conclu-
sions with the same ease and readiness. But this is
no fault on either side ; only they who fancy, because
they are always in a bustle, that they are doing the



ORIGINAL FABLES.



work of the whole world, are mistaken, and plume
themselves on an importance and superiority by no
means belonging to them. If you were to creep like
me, the day would last nobody knows how long;
and if I were to gallop like you, it would be over
before it had well begun. Let us each keep our
own 'pace, and then the business we are both upon
will be well done between us."

" All right," said the minute-hand in the distance ;
" I'm nearly out. of hearing now ; so keep any thing
more you have to say till I pass you again."



TWO SIDES TO A TALE.

"WHAT'S the matter?" said Growler to the black
cat, as she sat mumping on the step of the kitchen
door.

"Matter enough," said the cat, turning her head
another way. " Our cook is very fond of talking of
hanging me. I wish heartily some one would hang
her."



TWO SIDES TO A TALE.



"Why, what is the matter?" repeated Growler.

" Hasn't she beaten me, and called me a thief, and
threatened to be the death of me ? "

"Dear, dear!" said Growler; "pray, what has
brought it about?"

" Oh, the merest trifle, absolutely nothing ; it is
her temper. All the servants complain of it. I
wonder they haven't hanged her long ago."

"Well, you see," said Growler, "cooks are awkward
things to hang ; you and I might be managed much
more easily."

"Not a drop of milk have I had this day," said the
black cat ; " and such a pain in my side ! "

" But what," said Growler, " what immediate
cause ? "

"Haven't I told you?" said the black cat pet-
tishly; "it's her temper, what I have had to suffer
from it! Every thing she breaks she lays to me,
every thing that is stolen she lays to me, such in-
justice ! it is unbearable ! "

Growler was quite indignant; but, being of a
reflective turn, after the first gust of wrath had
I



10 ORIGINAL FABLES.

passed, he asked, " But was there no particular cause
this morning ? "

"She chose to be very angry because I I of-
fended her," said the cat.

" How ? may I ask," gently inquired Growler.

" Oh, nothing worth telling, a mere mistake of
mine."

Growler looked at her with such a questioning
expression, that she was compelled to say, "I took
the wrong thing for my breakfast."

"Oh!" said Growler, much enlightened.

Why, the fact was," said the black cat, " I was
springing at a mouse, and I knocked down a dish;
and not knowing exactly what it was, I smelt it, and
just tasted it, and it was rather nice, and "
. " You finished it ? " suggested Growler.

"Well, I should, I believe, if that cook hadn't j
come in. As it was, I left the head."

" The head of what ? " said Growler.

" How inquisitive you are ! " said the black
cat.

" Nay, but I should like to know," said Growler.



WHO'D BE A DONKEY? 11

"Well, then, of some grand fish that was meant
for dinner."

Then," said Growler, " say what you please ; but
now I've heard both sides of the story, I only won-
der she didn't hang you."



WHO'D BE A DONKEY?

" WHO'D be a donkey ? " said a smart-looking horse
that was grazing in a meadow, under the hedge of
which a heavily-laden donkey was picking up a
thistle.

'' Who'd be a donkey ? " said a cow in the opposite
meadow, looking at him through the gate.

Who'd be a donkey?" said an elderly gentleman,
dressed in black, walking in a reflecting manner up
the road, his arms crossed behind his back, and his
stick under his arm.

" Friends," said the donkey, with a very long piece
of bramble hanging from his mouth , " you'll excuse
my speaking while I am eating, which is not polite ;



12 ORIGINAL FABLES.

but, in order to set your benevolent hearts at rest, I
beg to assure you that Td be a donkey."

" Well," said the horse, " there's no accounting for
tastes. I wouldn't. Do you mean to say that you
prefer your ragged pasture out there to my delicate
fare in here?' 7

u I never tasted yours," said the donkey ; " mine is
very pleasant."

" Do you mean to say, friend," asked the cow,
" that you prefer carrying that heavy load to living
at ease as I do?"

" I never lived at ease ; I am used to my burden,"
said the donkey.

" I should think, my poor fellow," said the gentle-
man, " you would be glad even to change places with
your master, vagabond as he is. You would cer-
tainly escape beating and starvation. I see the
marks on your poor head where his blows have
been, and your ribs plainly tell what your ordinary
fare is."

"Sir," said the donkey, "I am greatly obliged to
you for your pity, but I assure you it is misplaced :



WHO'D BE A DONKEY? 13

my master is more of a brute than I am, both When
he gets intoxicated and when he beats me. I don't
like beating, especially about the head ; but it is a
part of my lot to bear it, and when the pain is past
I forget it. As to starving, there are degrees in
starvation; I am many points from the bottom of
the scale, as you may see by the delicate piece of
bramble I was finishing when you spoke. I believe
my master, who can not dine on a hedge, more fre-
quently suffers from hunger than I do."

" Well, my friend," said the gentleman, " your phi-
losophy is great ; but that burden must be too much
for you ; it is twice too heavy for your size."

"It is heavy, sir; but who is without a burden?
You, sir, for instance, pardon me ; not for worlds
of thistles would I bring you on a par with a poor
donkey, you are, as I should judge, the clergyman
of this parish ? "

" Yes," said the gentleman.

" And you have a family ? "

" Yes ; six children."

" And servants, of course ? "



14 ORIGINAL FABLES.

"Yes; three."

"Dear me!" said the donkey. "Sir, excuse me
again ; but what is my burden to yours ? A parish,
six children, and three servants ! "

" Oh, but my cares are such that I am constituted
to bear them."

" Just so, sir," said the donkey ; " and my burden
fits my back. The truth is, sir, I believe and I
would recommend you (once more excuse me) to
put it into your next sermon that half, and more
than half, of our wants are created ; half, and more
than half, of our miseries are imaginary; and half,
and more than half, of our blessings are lost, for
want of seeing them. I learned this from my
mother, who was a very sensible donkey, and my
experience of life has shown me its truth. With
neither of my friends over the hedges would I
change place, scornful as they look while I say it.
As for you, sir, let me tell you that a thunder-storm,
which will not touch my old gray coat, will spoil
your new black one ; and I advise you to run for it,
while I finish my dinner."



LOOK AT HOME.



15







LOOK AT HOME.

u NED, I'm ashamed of you," said Silver, the white
cow. " Really, with that clog on your leg, I wonder
you attempt to mix with respectable people."

"Your servant, ma'am," answered the donkey. "I
don't see that I am to be blamed for it, seeing that I
did not put it on myself."

"No, no, you were not likely to do that; but if
you hadn't taken to opening the gates with your nose,



16 ORIGINAL FABLES.

and wandering off nobody knows where, so that you
could never be found when you were wanted, the
master wouldn't have fettered you. You needn't
look at me so boldly ; it's a disgrace, and you know
it, and you ought to be ashamed of it."

"I ask your pardon, ma'am," said Neddy, looking
steadfastly at the nobs on the ends of Silver's horns ;
" but I was so taken up with looking at those things
which the master put on your horns the day you
broke down the hedge, and tried to toss the dog,
that I did not quite hear you. Please to say it
again."

But Silver walked another way, and Neddy grazed
without interruption.



JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS.

" THEY'RE going to hang Snap," said Frisk, my
lady's Blenheim, as she stood wagging her tail with
great animation on the top of the kitchen-steps, look-
ing out into the yard.



JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS. 17



"Well, who'd have thought it!" said Growler.
" But I'm not surprised when I reflect : that was
what master and the groom were talking about yes-
terday, no doubt ; for they looked at him."

" They're measuring his neck for a rope," said
FrJsk, scampering off

"Snap's going to be hanged," said Growler to
Tray.

" Indeed ! Well, I thought he looked very low-
spirited all day yesterday. I'm not surprised at all;
but are you sure ? "

" Oh ! I fancy he has the rope round his neck
already."

" Only think of Snap ! " said Tray to Lion, the New-
foundland dog.

"What about him?" said Lion, apparently more
inclined to think of something else.

" Going to be hanged : that's all."

" And enough, too," said Lion. " When ? "

" Oh, I doubt if he isn't hanged already : I fancy
the rope was about his neck some time ago."

" Poor fellow ! what's it for ? "



18 ORIGINAL FABLES.

" I can't exactly tell. The groom's been complain-
ing of him to the master, I believe, from what Mr.
Growler says."

" I thought he was a great favorite."

" Ah ! but we've all seen a great change lately."

When did you notice it ? "

" I don't know that it was spoken of till this morn-
ing ; but any one might have seen it long ago."

" I never saw it,"

At this moment, Snap ran into the yard with a
new collar on.

" Hey, what's this ? " said Lion, as Snap trotted
from one to another to show his finery ; while Frisk
looked down from the top of the steps, and whis-
pered rather sheepishly to Growler, "Who'd have
thought they were measuring him for a collar?"




THE OAK AND THE IVY. 19

i

!

THE OAK AND THE IVY.

"WiLL you allow me, sir?" said the ivy to a
gnarled old oak. " I won't intrude without your per-
mission.'

The oak looked down at his feet, which the ivy
was covering, but made no answer.

"What a ragged old fellow you are! " said the ivy,
when she had reached half way up the massive
trunk. k4 1 have covered knots and knobs innumer-
able in you : you may thank me for looking so hand-
some:

" Do you think we shall sell for much ? " said the
ivy, as she grew up to the topmost boughs. " I see
they have been marking us. I presume we are in
the same lot. You are aware that you owe all your
beauty to me."

The oak was felled, and the ivy lay withered and
trailirig on the ground. "Alas!" she cried, "how
could I so forget myself? I knew I was but ivy
when I was at the bottom of the tree, but when I
got to the top I thought I was an oak."



20 ORIGINAL FABLES.

THE CROWING COCK.

" How did I crow then ? " said a cock to his favor-
ite speckled hen.

" Magnificently ! " said the speckled hen.

"I'll get up on the gate and crow again, that all
the yard may hear. You tell them to listen." And
up he flew to the top of the gate, and flapped his
wings, and stretched his neck, and crowed with all
his might; then, holding his head on one side, he
looked down with one eye at the hens who were
huddled together before the gate.

" Fine ! " said the speckled hen. " Fine ! " said the
white hen, and the brown hen, and all the hens, and
as many chickens as had not their mouths full of
barley.

" Do you hear that brown thing yonder ? " said he,
as he strutted up and down the yard, looking con- ]
temptuously at a thrush in a wicker cage, who was
trilling one of his richest songs. " What do you
think of the noise it makes?"

All the hens clucked with contempt.



THE CROWING COCK. 21

" Friend ! " said the cock to him, " you mean well,
but you haven't a note of music, you should listen
to me ; " and then he crowed with all his might
again. The hens all stood on one leg, with their
eyes closed, and their heads on one side, in mute
admiration.

At this moment, Shock, the house-dog, came out of
his kennel and shook himself, as if disturbed out of a
sound sleep.

" Did you hear me crow ? " said the elated cock.

" Hear you ! I should like to know who didn't ? "
said Shock. "There's no peace for you, morning,
noon, nor night; for the only time when you're
quiet, I'm obliged to turn out to keep you from the
fox."

The cock shook his gills, and looked very much
astonished ; and the hens whispered into one an-
other's ear.

" Ask my hens," said the cock indignantly.

" Your hens, indeed ! " said Shock. " Why, they
know nothing but what you tell them ; and if they
don't do as you like, you, drive them from the barley.



22 ORIGINAL FABLES.



You're all very well to call up the maids in the
morning, and to sing out when thieves come near
the roost ; but if you were not the most consum-
mate coxcomb, you would never attempt to decry
a thrush."

" I have wakened him out of his sleep," said the
cock, in an explanatory voice, to his hens; and he
led the way to the fold, where he flapped his wings
and crowed again, but not with the same vivacity ;
and, although they were afraid of talking of it
aloud, the hens noticed one to another, that he
never crowed much from that day in the presence
of Shock.




THE PANIC; OR, WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT? 23

THE PANIC; OR, WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?

""WHAT'S it all about?" said one of Mrs. Sell's
ducks to her friend, as they listened to a splashing
noise in the little brook dam.

" I can not think," quacked Ducky ; " let's go and
see."

And they sailed down the brook to the place, and
found a great piece of wood which had fallen across
the bank, and the water was splashing over it. The
rest of the ducks, seeing these two in such a hurry
to get to this spot, followed, supposing some fresh
plan of operations for the day was being projected,
or that a new nest of snails had been discovered. So
they waddled into the brook, and swam off in the
same direction.

It was difficult for their two companions to per-
suade them of the truth ; and they all quacked so
loud in their inquiries, that a hen, who was taking
her ten little chickens for a morning walk, told them
to remain very quiet under the wall, while she went
to the water-side to see what was the matter, and to



24 ORIGINAL FABLES.

mind and not touch the corn that would be thrown
down for them, till she returned.

Whether her clucking and the increased quacking
were favored by the wind I can't say ; but the sound
went over the churchyard into Freek the shepherd's
garden, where Drover lay dozing in the sun. He
started up, pricked up his ears, and bounded across
the churchyard.

A cow that was grazing in the lane, seeing him
scamper at such a rate, thought it wise to follow
him; so, having filled her mouth, she walked delib-
erately round the corner to the place that Drover
seemed to make for. In his way he saw the potter's
horse standing in the Bede-House pasture. "Hey,
Drover," said the horse, " what's the matter ? "

"Who knows?" said Drover; "I'm going to see.
Don't you hear the noise ? "

So the horse went up to the hedge of the field,
and looked over on to the brook ; but, being old and
tired, he couldn't make up his mind to go any nearer.

" Have you heard ? " said an old crow.

"What?" said the others.



THE PANIC; OR, WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT? 25

" Oh, such a noise ! A fight, I should think. I
saw Drover running as if to break his neck ; and the
old cow and the potter's horse are on the road, and I
don't know who besides."

"Oh, let's go, by all means," said the crows. So
they flew off, and took possession of the willows that
hung over the brook.

" What fun ! " said a sparrow ; " the crows have
gone to see some grand doings somewhere: let us go
too ! " and away went a whole flock of sparrows, who
had been busy a minute before with the vicar's cur-
rant-bushes.

" Very remarkable !" said an old jackdaw. "What
it can be about, I can not divine. I propose, my
brethren, to call a meeting, and consult upon meas-
ures adequate to the occasion." And so all the jack-
daws might be seen coming out of their holes in the
church-tower, and ranging themselves solemnly along
the ledge near the top, on the side facing the
brook.

"Is it an invasion of the French?" said one.
"Is it a company of masons coming to repair the



26 ORIGINAL FABLES.

church?" said another; "that would vastly more
interfere with us and our nests."

No\V, just as Drover got to the brook, the two
ducks having convinced their friends that there was
no secreft cause for their movement, the whole party
were sailing calmly down the stream, and the quack-
ing had completely ceased.

" What's it all about ? " said Drover to the last of
them. >

"What?" said the duck.

" Why, the noise," said Drover.
' " Nothing ! " said the duck.

" Nothing ! " said the hen, going back to her chick-
ens.

" Nothing ! " said Drover, with a mixture of con-
tempt and vexation at having had his run for noth-
ing.

" Did he say nothing, Mr. Drover ? " said the old
cow, who immediately proceeded to graze again.

"Nothing!" called out the old horse from over the
wall. " How glad I am I didn't go any farther ! "

"Nothing, nothing!" jabbered the sparrows.



THE PANIC; OR, WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT? 27

" What fun ! Only think of taking in all these good
folks!" And off they flew to the currant-trees
again.

" Nothing ! " said the crows, who flew over to Mrs.
Sell's yard to pick up the corn that was put for the
chickens.

" Nothing ! " said the daws. " How exceedingly
impertinent to make such a fuss about nothing!"

"Very!" said Kitty Keelby's old brindled cat, who
had been feasting on some of the deserted chickens,
while their mother was gone to find out " what the
noise was all about." And so the water went on
splashing over the wood ; but there was an end of
the wonder.




28 ORIGINAL FABLES.



THE OWL THAT THOUGHT HE COULD SING.

" WHAT can bring the people into the grov.es to
hear those nightingales sing ? " said an owlet to his
mother.

The old owl didn't know, and didn't care : she was
busy, watching a bat.

"I'm sure I have as fine a voice as any nightin-
gale, and far stronger."

" Stronger, certainly, my son," said the owl, with a
blink, for the bat had escape<}.

" I shall go into the grove to-night, and give them
a song," said the owlet.

The owl opened her round eyes very wide, but
said nothing.

Accordingly, when night came, and the hour for
the sweet trilling of the singing-birds drew near, he
flew heavily along, and placed himself in a conspicu-
ous part of the grove, that he might be seen and
heard to proper advantage.

Now the nightingales did not by any means ad-



THE OWL THAT THOUGHT HE COULD SING. 29

mire the prospect either of his company or his co-
operation in their concert; so those who were bent
on singing sought another grove, while those who
were content to be quiet for the night kept snugly
at roost.

"Where can the nightingales be?" said the peo-
ple who came to hear them.

Upon this, the owlet set up a hoot so loud and so
long, that it nearly frightened them into fits.

"That creature has terrified them, and scared
them all away," said one. "I will soon dispatch
him. Where's my gun?"

But the disconcerted owlet took the hint, and
before the gun came he had got back to his mother.

" Your feathers are ruffled, my son," said the owl.
"Have you been singing?"

The owlet reluctantly related his disgrace and nar-
row escape.

" It is just what I expected, and I am glad you are
safe back."

"Then why did you suffer me to go?" said the
owlet indignantly.



30 ORIGINAL FABLES.

" Because I was sure it was a point on which noth-
ing but experience could convince you. I don't un-
derstand music, and can not tell why people should
take the trouble to go and hear nightingales sing,
and at the same time shoot owls for hooting ; but I
know it to be a fact. There is much difference
between our voices, which I can myself discern every
time I hoot. Ours may be superior, for any thing I
know; but as the prejudice of the public mind is
strong on the other side, I shouldn't think of disput-
ing the point, and probably, now you have ex-
perienced the effect of your performance on their
ears, you will be satisfied, with me, to leave them
alone in their mistake."




THE COMPLAINT OF THE EAST WIND. 31



THE COMPLAINT OF THE EAST WIND.

"WHY do you shrink from me?" said the east
wind, angrily, to the flowers.

The primrose, for answer, crept under its leaves;
the snowdrop, bending lower, laid her head sadly on


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