Can keeping warm ward off a cold?

"My usual company was an edition of Aesop's Fables
and, perhaps my favorite, Bulfinch's Mythology."

Edward Snowden


heckle and jeckle


The Power of Thought

It happened that a Plebian was sowing hemp seed in a field where a Swallow and some blackbirds were hopping about picking food.

"Beware of that man," warn the Swallow.

"Why, what is he doing?" question the blackbirds.

"That is hemp seed he is sowing; be careful to pick up everyone of the seeds, or else you will be sorry."

The blackbirds paid no heed to the words of the Swallow.

Overtime the hemp grew up and was made into cord.

The cord was woven into nets and many a blackbird that had ignored the advice of the Swallow was caught in nets made out of hemp.


spirit totem


A Patrician and a lion were debating the relative strength of men and lions.

The Patrician contended that he and his countrymen were stronger than lions by reason of their greater intelligence.

"Come now with me," the Patrician begged, "I will soon prove I am right."

So the Patrician took the Lion into the public gardens and showed him a statue of Hercules overcoming a Lion and tearing the mouth of the Lion in two.

"The idol means nothing. Man made the idol," retorted the Lion.



A Wolf found great difficulty in getting at the sheep owing to the vigilance of the shepherd and his dogs.

But one day it found the skin of a sheep that had been flayed and thrown aside, so it put it on over its own pelt and strolled down among the sheep.

The lamb that belonged to the sheep, whose skin the Wolf was wearing, began to follow the Wolf in the Sheep's clothing; so, leading the lamb a little apart, he soon made a meal of her, and for some time he succeeded in deceiving the sheep, and enjoying hearty meals.



The mice had a general council to consider what measures they could take to outwit the Cat.

Some said this, and some said that; but at last a young mouse got up and said he had a proposal to make, which he thought would meet the case.

"You will all agree," said he, "that our chief danger consists in the sly and treacherous manner in which the enemy approaches us. Now, if we could receive some signal of her approach, we could easily escape from her. I venture, therefore, to propose that a small bell be procured, and attached by a ribbon round the neck of the Cat. By this means we should always know when she was about, and could easily retire while she was in the neighborhood."

This proposal met with general applause, until an old mouse got up and said: "That is all very well, but who is to bell the Cat?"

The mice looked at one another and nobody spoke. Then the old mouse said:



" "There are two ways to be fooled: one is to believe what isn't true,
the other is to refuse to believe what is true." - Soren Kierkegaard


Send in the Clowns

At a country fair there was a fool who made all the people laugh by imitating the cries of various animals.

He finished off by squeaking so like a pig that the spectators thought that he had a porker concealed about him.

But a farmer who stood by said: "Call that a pig's squeak. Nothing like it. Tomorrow I will show you what it's like."

The audience laughed, but next day, sure enough, the farmer appeared on the stage, and putting his head down squealed so hideously that the spectators, hissed and threw stones at him to make him stop.

"You fools" he cried, "see what you have been hissing," and held up a little pig whose ear he had been pinching to make him utter the squeals.


ants and the grasshopper

Jeremy Bender


In a field, one fine summer day, a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping, singing and munching to his heart's content.

An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil a kernel of rye.

"Why not eat the rye then come and dance and sing with me," said the Grasshopper, "instead of toiling that way?"

"I am helping to lay up seed for the winter," said the Ant, "and recommend you to do the same."

"Why worry about winter?" said the Grasshopper; "there is plenty of seed."

The Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

When the winter came the Grasshopper had no seed, and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing rye seeds every day from the stash they had collected in the summer.



A Plebian came to a Patrician, expressing great concern for an accident which, he said, had just happened.

"One of your oxen," continued he, "has been gored by an unlucky bull of mine, and I should be glad to know how I am to make you reparation."

"Thou art a very honest fellow," replied the Patrician, "and wilt not think it unreasonable that I expect one of thy oxen in return."

"It is no more than justice," quoth the Plebian, "to be sure; but what did I say - a mistake - it is your bull that has killed one of my oxen."

"Indeed," said the Patrician, "that alters the case; I must inquire into the affair, and if - ,"

"And if!" said the Plebian - "The business, I find, would have been concluded without an if had you been as ready to do justice to others as to exact it from them."

Jupiter, Neptune, Minerva, and Momus

According to an ancient legend, the first man was made by Jupiter, the first bull by Neptune, and the first house by Minerva.

On the completion of their labors, a dispute arose as to which had made the most perfect work.

They agreed to appoint Momus as judge, and to abide by his decision.

Momus, however, being very envious of the handicraft of each, found fault with all.

He first blamed the work of Neptune because he had not made the horns of the bull below his eyes, so he might better see where to strike.

He then condemned the work of Jupiter, because he had not placed the heart of man on the outside, that everyone might read evil thoughts and take precautions against the intended mischief.

And, lastly, he inveighed against Minerva because she had not contrived iron wheels in the foundation of her house, so its inhabitants might more easily remove if a neighbor proved unpleasant.

Jupiter, indignant at such inveterate faultfinding, drove him from his office of judge, and expelled him from the mansions of Olympus.

unique library index

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