The Crab and the Fox 螃蟹和狐狸
A crab1 once left the sea-shore and went and settled in a meadow2 some way inland, which looked very nice and green and seemed likely to be a good place to feed in. But a hungry fox came along and spied the crab and caught him. Just as he was going to be eaten up, the crab said, "This is just what I deserve, for I had no business to leave my natural home by the sea and settle here as though I belonged to the land."
Be content with your lot.
The Ant 蚂蚁
Ants were once men and made their living by tilling the soil. But, not content with the results of their own work, they were always eating longing1 eyes upon the crops and fruits of their neighbours, which they stole, whenever they got the chance, and added to their own store. At last their covetousness2 made Jupiter so angry that he changed them into ants. But, though their forms were changed, their nature remained the same: and so, to this day, they go about among the cornfields and gather the fruits of others' labour, and store them up for their own use.
You may punish a thief, but his bent3 remains4.
Apelles and the young ass 阿佩莱斯和小毛驴
Apelles meeting with the little ass1 invited him to tea that very right. The little ass was trembling with delight. He prances2 through the wood; he pesters3 all who pass: 'Apelles bores me so. He will not let me be, you know! Whenever him I see, he asks me in to tea. I'm sure he wants to paint a Pegasus from me.'
'Oh no!' Apelles said as he happened to be near, 'I am painting the judgment4 of King Midas. I'm acquainting with you because you seem to boast the proper length of ear. So if you'll come to tea, most happy I shall be. For long-eared asses5 are not rare, but with the ears that you can show, no little or big ass either ever could compare!'
Consumed with vanity, the fool admires himself for that which others ridicule6, and often makes a boast of that which ought to shame him most.
The hound and the fox 猎狗和狐狸
A hound, roaming in the forest, spied a lion. He thought the lion might be a good prey1 and chased, thinking he would make a fine quarry2. Presently the lion perceived that he was being pursued, so, stopping short, he rounded on his pursuer and gave a loud roar. The hound immediately turned tail and fled. A fox, seeing him running away, jeered3 at him and said, "Ho! Ho! There goes the coward who chased a lion and ran away the moment the roared!"
The grasshopper and the ants 蚂蚱和蚂蚁
One fine day in winter some ants were busy drying their store of corn, which had got rather damp during a long spell of rain. Presently1 up came a grasshopper2 and begged them to spare her a few grains, "For," she said, "I'm simply starving." The ants stopped work for a moment, though this was against their principles. "May we ask," said they, "what you were doing with yourself all last summer? Why didn't you collect a store of food for the winter?" "The fact is," replied the grasshopper, "I was so busy singing that I hadn't the time." "If you spent the summer singing," replied the ants, "you can't do better than spend the winter dancing." And they chuckled3 and went on with their work.