Page:An argosy of fables.djvu/298

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242
ORIENTAL FABLES

us two there is a big difference, and if the water rises to your sides, it would be well over my back."

The wise man refuses to be led beyond his own depth.

(Jami, The Baharistan.)


THE DOG AND THE LOAF OF BREAD

A DOG, driven desperate with hunger, stood watching at the gate of a village, when he saw a Loaf of Bread roll out of the gate and make its way towards the desert. The Dog started in pursuit of the Loaf, and as he ran he cried:

"Oh, Staff of Life, Strength of the Traveller, Object of my Desire, sweet Consolation of my Soul! In what direction do you turn your steps? Where are you going?"

"To the desert," replied the Loaf of Bread, "to see my friends the Wolves and Leopards, for I am returning their visit."

"Your boasting speech doesn't frighten me," replied the Dog, "I would follow you down the throat of a Crocodile, or between the teeth of a Lion. If you rolled around the world I should still pursue you."

Those who live by bread alone will submit, for the sake of it, to the vilest abuse, like a hungry dog.

(Jami, The Baharistan.)


THE CAMEL AND THE SHRUB

A CAMEL was crossing a desert and as he went was browsing on thistles and brambles. Presently he came upon a shrub with foliage as thick as the hair of a young girl and as pleasant to look upon as the rosy cheeks of youth. But just as he stretched forth his neck