Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Talkative Tortoise.....a tale from the Panchatantra

Once upon a time, a Tortoise lived in a pond with two Ducks, who were her very good friends. She enjoyed the company of the Ducks, because she could talk with them to her heart's content; the Tortoise liked to talk. She always had something to say, and she liked to hear herself say it.

After many years of this pleasant living, the pond became very low, in a dry season; and finally it dried up. The two Ducks saw that they could no longer live there, so they decided to fly to another region, where there was more water. They went to the Tortoise to bid her good-by.

"Oh, don't leave me behind!" begged the Tortoise. "Take me with you; I must die if I am left here."

"But you cannot fly!" said the Ducks. "How can we take you with us?"

"Take me with you! take me with you!" said the Tortoise.

The Ducks felt so sorry for her that at last they thought of a way to take her. "We have thought of a way which will be possible," they said, "if only you can manage to keep still long enough. We will each take hold of one end of a stout stick, and do you take the middle in your mouth; then we will fly up in the air with you and carry you with us. But remember not to talk! If you open your mouth, you are lost."

The Tortoise said she would not say a word; she would not so much as move her mouth; and she was very grateful. So the Ducks brought a strong little stick and took hold of the ends, while the Tortoise bit firmly on the middle. Then the two Ducks rose slowly in the air and flew away with their burden.

When they were above the treetops, the Tortoise wanted to say, "How high we are!"

But she remembered, and kept still.

When they passed the church steeple she wanted to say, "What is that which shines?" But she remembered, and held her peace.

Then they came over the village square, and the people looked up and saw them.

"Look at the Ducks carrying a Tortoise!" they shouted; and every one ran to look.

The Tortoise wanted to say, "What business is it of yours?" But she didn't.

Then she heard the people shout, "Isn't it strange! Look at it! Look!"

The Tortoise forgot everything except that she wanted to say, "Hush, you foolish people!" She opened her mouth,-- and fell to the ground. And that was the end of the Tortoise.

It is a very good thing to be able to hold one's tongue!

from Stories to Tell to Children by Sara Cone Bryan

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Tale of Tristan and Harriet based on an Aesop Fable

As you all know (or you ought to know) you can't keep a good story down....or something like that.
"Tristan and Harriet" is a stop-motion "claymation" film based on Aesop's fable, The Tortoise and the Hare.
It a fun story and shows what you can do with a little ...or maybe a lot of imagination.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Dog and the Shadow

A Dog was crossing a river, with a piece of meat in his mouth, when he saw his own shadow reflected in the stream below. Thinking that it was another dog, with a piece of meat, he resolved to make himself master of that also; but in snapping at the supposed treasure he dropped the bit he was carrying, and so lost all.

Grasp at the shadow, and lose the substance.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Fox and the Aesop Fable

A fox entered the house of an actor, and, rummaging through all his properties, came upon a Mask, an admirable imitation of a human head.

He placed his paws on it, and said: "What a beautiful head! yet it is of no value, as it entirely wants brains."

Moral: A fair face is of little use without sense.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Frog Who Wished To Be As Big As The Ox

There was a little Frog
Whose home was in a bog,
And he worried 'cause he wasn't big enough.
He sees an ox and cries:
"That's just about my size,
If I stretch myself--Say Sister, see me puff!"

So he blew, blew, blew,
Saying: "Sister, will that do?"
But she shook her head. And then he lost his wits.
For he stretched and puffed again
Till he cracked beneath the strain,
And burst, and flew about in little bits.

from Fables in Rhyme for Little Folks From the French of La Fontaine
written by La Fontaine, Jean de, 1621-1695
illustrated by Rae, John, 1882-1963
Translator Larned, W.T. (William Trowbridge)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Fox and the Rooster

A Fox, one day, saw a Rooster on the roof of a barn.

“Come to me, my dear Master Rooster,” said he, “I have always heard you are such a clever fellow and I want to ask you a riddle.”

Glad to hear himself praised, the foolish Rooster came down.
And the Fox caught him, and ate him in a moment.

The praise of the wicked is always dangerous.