Page:An argosy of fables.djvu/316

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258
ORIENTAL FABLES

King of the animals. Therefore if you eat me you are breaking the commands of the Lord of Heaven. And if you don't believe me I will prove the truth of what I say. Let me walk in front while you follow in my footsteps. You will soon see that all the other animals make haste to get out of my way the moment they catch sight of me."

The Tiger agreed to this plan; and as they went together through the forest, with the Fox leading the way and the Tiger following, all the other animals hurriedly slunk away at the sight of them. But the foolish Tiger, not knowing that it was fear of himself that made them flee, imagined that they fled through fear of the Fox.

(Translated from the Chinese of Chiang-Yi by C. Arendi. China Review. Vol. 12. p. 322.


THE LOCUST, THE BEETLE, THE GOLDFINCH AND THE HUNTER

ONCE upon a time a certain young Prince was walking in the garden behind the royal palace, when all at once he heard the song of a Locust from the bough of a tall tree. On drawing near to the tree he saw the Locust singing the prolonged notes of its little song, quite happy in having found a pleasant place to rest in the morning breeze. The Locust little knew that it was in danger from a Beetle which had crawled from bough to bough, and was just then raising its body and stretching out its front claws in order to seize and eat the Locust. But while the Beetle's attention was fixed upon the Locust it little knew that it was itself in danger from a Goldfinch which, fluttering back and forth in the shade of the green leaves, was preparing to make his dinner of it. And while the attention of the Goldfinch was fixed upon the Beetle, he little knew that the Prince was standing near with cross-bow in hand, preparing to shoot