Aesop's Fables

west_gardenerMarch 21, 2012

I'm in a catch up mode with the classics, and I'm having a great time. After living a life of pragmatic thinking and making a living, I'm finally able to focus on other things.

Those who seek to please everybody please nobody.

The Man and His Two Sweethearts A MIDDLE-AGED MAN, whose hair had begun to turn gray, courted two women at the same time. One of them was young, and the other well advanced in years. The elder woman, ashamed to be courted by a man younger than herself, made a point, whenever her admirer visited her, to pull out some portion of his black hairs. The younger, on the contrary, not wishing to become the wife of an old man, was equally zealous in removing every gray hair she could find. Thus it came to pass that between them both he very soon found that he had not a hair left on his head.

Those who seek to please everybody please nobody.

Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 28). .

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    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 6:05AM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

I think Aesops fables should be taught in gradeschool. So many moral lessons that don't seem to be taught anymore. I can remember getting mad at the version of the grasshopper and the ant that we read in 2nd grade. The grasshopper danced and sang all summer while the ant toiled away to have food for the winter. Come winter the warm and well feed ant hears a scratching at his door and it is the freezing, starving grasshopper. The ant did not slam the door in his face and say since you didn't work - you can't eat but let him in. I was appalled. Not that I wanted the grasshopper to die, but I thoungt there should be one more sentence to the fable: The ant allowed the grass hopper in but he had to "sing for his supper". I din't like the idea of something for nothing. (Does this classify me a conserative?)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:11PM
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I liked your fable west!!!

They are taught in grade schools tibs. My son and I went over several of them.

I realized my two favorites aren't the typical The Tortoise and The Hare or The Fox and The [sour] Grapes, but The Crow and the Pitcher is my mantra. I love to break a problem into it's smaller pieces, then one-by-one whittle a bit at a time, until, at last, it's done! Reward!!!! I find The Cat-maiden completely entertaining.

The Cat-Maiden
The gods were once disputing whether it was possible for a living being to change its nature. Jupiter said "Yes," but Venus said "No." So, to try the question, Jupiter turned a Cat into a Maiden, and gave her to a young man for a wife. The wedding was duly performed and the young couple sat down to the wedding-feast. "See," said Jupiter, to Venus, "how becomingly she behaves. Who could tell that yesterday she was but a Cat? Surely her nature is changed?"

"Wait a minute," replied Venus, and let loose a mouse into the room. No sooner did the bride see this than she jumped up from her seat and tried to pounce upon the mouse. "Ah, you see," said Venus, "Nature will out."

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 8:52AM
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I"m glad I read the first part of the book, so I got an idea what the symbolisems were.

"The introduction of the animals or fictitious characters should be marked with an unexceptionable care and attention to their natural attributes, and to the qualities attributed to them by universal popular consent. The Fox should be always cunning, the Hare timid, the Lion bold, the Wolf cruel, the Bull strong, the Horse proud, and the Ass patient. Many of these fables are characterized by the strictest observance of these rules."

Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 8). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 10:38AM
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tibs,I don't know if it makes you conservative, but the ant did invite the grashopper in for a meal. That's a good thing.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 8:18PM
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The one you shared is a description of my receding, graying, hippie, long haired leaping gnome persona but I have no idea who is pulling them out.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 11:33PM
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either mother nature or father time Don!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:47AM
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Great answer, Rob.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 7:37PM
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I also remember in grade one......the little Red Hen. She DIDN'T share her food with the creatures who wouldn't help her gather the grain. But I doubt she made the politically correct cut of modern textbooks.

It's called teaching the consequence of your actions, and although that's been the subject of a lot of debate whether that's appropriate childhood story fodder, it beats letting a child learn the same lessons first-hand.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:42PM
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Suzy, you always say (at least I can't remember when it hasn't happened) the right thing. Or at least something with which I agree. But what I really like is, I admire fully, is that you usually are looking farther out. Worthy of emulation. Just thought I'd tell you that. (((Suzy)))

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 8:55AM
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