Page:An argosy of fables.djvu/494

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422
MODERN FABLES

THE COLT

A COLT, that had never felt a rider's weight, looked upon bridle and saddle as marks of distinction. Under this impression, it ran after every Horse on which it saw a man mounted, and sighed impatiently for the time when it should be similarly honoured.

At length the envied trappings were placed upon the Colt; and it was led gently up and down, in order that it might become accustomed to the curb. The Colt strutted proudly up and down and was immensely pleased with itself.

Elate with its new honours, it returned to its stall and neighing loudly, told all the Horses of its good fortune. "I was praised by all who saw me," it told the nearest Horse. "A red bridle hung from my mouth and lay gracefully over my black mane."

But the very next day the Colt came sorrowfully back, in a white lather of perspiration, and said: "Life is full of disappointments! To be sure, my bridle is ornamental; but it was not made for that. It was invented for my rider's benefit, and to make me his obedient slave."

(Gellert, Fables. Bussey's translation.)


THE WOLF ON HIS DEATH-BED

A WOLF lay at his last gasp, and recalled the many events of his past life. "True, I am a sinner," said he, "but let me still hope, not one of the greatest. I have done harm, but also much good. Once, I remember, a bleating Lamb, which had strayed from the flock, came so near me that I could easily have throttled it; yet I did not