A Crow, having just nabbed a piece of cheese for herself, settled herself upon the branch of a tree. A passing Fox sighted the Crow and her morsel, whence he exclaimed saccharinely to the Crow, “Oh, how I have heard much about your voice, dear Crow, but to think I’ve never heard for myself!”

The Crow, eager to please, then opened her beak and belted a “Caw!”

The bit of cheese dropped, and the Fox rushed forward. “I hoped you’ve said adieu to your cheese, Crow!” said the Fox, the cheese in his mouth. “Let this be a lesson learned: never trust flatterers.”

Upon which the Crow swooped down and began pecking at the Fox with a mighty fury, and in between those painful jabs, you could hear, “And you should remember that I’ve wings!”

The Moral
After conning someone, maybe don’t stand around and lecture about it.

[originally]

An Astronomer was in the habit of wandering out at night to examine the stars. One evening whilst doing so, he fell into a well. A Passerby heard his cries for help, rushed over to the well, and leant over the side to see what happened. Upon learning how the Astronomer had landed himself in the well, she remarked, “Well, friend, it seems you can see the heavens clear enough, but can’t see what’s right at your feet.”

To which the Astronomer replied, “An astute observation, my lady, but smells to me like you’ve stepped into a pile of dog poo running over to stare at me.”

The Moral
Be sure you are free from the flaws that you point out in others… hypocrite.

[originally]

There once was a boy named Charles Augustus Fortescue, who was praised for never losing his hat and never muddying his clothes. He did his Latin and even liked sums, and much to his parents’ delight, he’d lick his plate clean and always asked for the greasiest crumbs. Eventually he met Fifi, sole heiress to a Lord. Fifi and he were soon married and now they reside in a Splendid Mansion and wear a great many pearls from the oysters they eat—but they never have visitors because we always get bored!

The Moral
How terrifically bland are people who only do what they’re told.

[originally]

For Sarah, who doesn’t look too much like «this».

It was winter and an Ant carrying some food he had stored during summer came across a Grasshopper. The Grasshopper, shivering and starving, bade the Ant for a bite to eat.

“Well,” said the Ant, tapping three feet. “What were you doing all last summer?”

“I was very busy!” cried the Grasshopper.

“Busy doing what?”

“Why, singing. It’s what grasshoppers do!”

At this the Ant laughed. “If you can sing in the summer, then you can dance in the winter.” And then the Ant left the Grasshopper behind.

When the ice finally thawed and spring came anew, the Grasshopper unfrozen decided he had learnt his mistake and learnt it well. “The Ant is an asshole,” and that was all the Grasshopper had to say.

So, the Grasshopper lives on in music, while the Ant continues to work and only sees the butts of other ants.

The Moral
Self-righteousness is hateful.

[originally]

A Nightingale was singing in a cage by a window. A Bat approached her.

“Nightingale,” began the Bat, “why do you not sing in the day, like you do in the night?”

“I was caught while I was singing in the day, and I’ve since learned to not sing while the sun shines,” the Nightingale replied.

“You should have thought of this beforehand. As it stands now, you’re in no danger to be caught singing in the day again, seeing as you’ve already been caged. So you might as well—”

But the Bat did not finish his sentence, because a cat  stationed on a bookcase nearby spied the Bat, then pounced and caught him. In doing so, the cat knocked the cage over and the Nightingale escaped.

The Moral
Busying yourself in telling others off is the worst kind of busyness. 

[originally]

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