1.The Lion and the Mouse
Once when a lion, the king of the jungle, was asleep, a little mouse began running up and down on him. This soon awakened the lion, who placed his huge paw on the mouse, and opened his big jaws to swallow him.
“Pardon, O King!” cried the little mouse. “Forgive me this time. I shall never repeat it and I shall never forget your kindness. And who knows, I may be able to do you a good turn one of these days!”
The lion was so tickled by the idea of the mouse being able to help him that he lifted his paw and let him go.
Sometime later, a few hunters captured the lion, and tied him to a tree. After that they went in search of a wagon, to take him to the zoo.
Just then the little mouse happened to pass by. On seeing the lion’s plight, he ran up to him and gnawed away the ropes that bound him, the king of the jungle.
“Was I not right?” said the little mouse, very happy to help the lion.
MORAL: Small acts of kindness will be rewarded greatly.
2. The Goose with the Golden Eggs
Once upon a time, a man and his wife had the good fortune to have a goose which laid a golden egg every day. Lucky though they were, they soon began to think they were not getting rich fast enough.
They imagined that if the bird is able to lay golden eggs, its insides must be made of gold. And they thought that if they could get all that precious metal at once, they would get mighty rich very soon. So the man and his wife decided to kill the bird.
However, upon cutting the goose open, they were shocked to find that its innards were like that of any other goose!
MORAL: THINK BEFORE YOU ACT
Kill not the goose that lays golden eggs is a popular proverb in English that is rooted in this story.
When we use this proverb, we mean that anyone who feels entitled to, and tries to get more than he is already receiving, is most likely to get nothing at all in the future.
Read the following example:
Young Johnny had a very kind and generous uncle. Every time Johnny visited him with his parents, he was given five cents. One day, Johnny thought of buying a bike. The next time he met his uncle, he asked him for 50 dollars. “50 dollars?” exclaimed his uncle. “That is a lot of money!”
“Well, you can afford it, and I want to buy a bike,” said Johnny. “You don’t have any children, so you should have a lot of money.”
Johnny’s uncle was very angry. He did not like Johnny’s attitude.
Johnny did not get 50 dollars. He did not get his five cents also any more.
He had killed the goose that laid golden eggs. If he had been wiser, he would have at least got his five cents.
Sometimes, we are not content with what we have, and wish for more. Such discontentment always results in unhappiness, and regret.
The Cunning Fox and the Clever Stork
Once upon a time, there lived a very cunning and mischievous fox. He used to speak to other animals sweetly and gain their trust, before playing tricks on them.
One day the fox met a stork. He befriended the stork and acted like a very good friend. Soon, he invited the stork to have a feast with him. The stork happily accepted the invitation.
The day of the feast came, and the stork went to the fox’s house. To her surprise and disappointment, the fox said that he could not make a big feast as promised, and just offered some soup. When he brought the soup out of the kitchen, the stork saw that it was in a shallow bowl!
The poor stork could not have any soup with its long bill, but the fox easily licked the soup from the plate. As the stork just touched the soup with the tip of its bill, the fox asked her, “How is the soup? Don’t you like it?”
The hungry stork replied, “Oh it is good, but my stomach is upset, and I can’t take any more soup!”
“I’m sorry for troubling you,” said the fox.
The stork replied, “Oh dear, please don’t say sorry. I have some health problem and cannot enjoy what you offer.”
She left the place after thanking the fox, and inviting him to her house for dinner.
The day arrived and the fox reached the stork’s place. After exchanging pleasantries, the stork served soup for both of them, in a narrow jar with a long neck. She was able to have the soup very easily with her long bill, but the fox obviously could not.
After finishing hers, the stork asked the fox if he was enjoying the soup. The fox remembered the feast he himself had given the stork, and felt very ashamed. He stammered, “I…I’d better leave now. I have a tummy ache.”
Humiliated, he left the place running.
Moral: One bad turn begets another.