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Group One

1 City mouse...

2 The bald knight

3 A man is undone

4 The peace-loving sun

5 An astrologer suffers

6 The wise wasp

7 The little mice

8 The thirsty crow

9 The canny dog

10 The wounded wolf

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2. The Bald Knight Laughs At Himself

There once was a knight, courageous and bold,
Who lost all his hair as he grew old,
So rather than blush, he bought instead
A thick black wig for the top of his head.
        One day as he heard his doorbell chime
        He tried on his wig for the very first time
        But as he saluted a lady friend,
        A heartless wind came round the bend.

"Whoosh" went his wig up into the air
And quick as a flash his head was bare!
Up went his eyebrows, down went his jaw!
The lady friend squelched a loud guffaw,
        She pulled out a hanky to cover her face
        But squeals came giggling through the lace,
        She stuffed her bonnet into her teeth
        But snickers snuck out underneath.

Then, lo, the knight's own laugh broke through,
And he grabbed his belly and doubled in two,
Till tears rolled down his aging face
And chuckles poured out like a holy grace.

Finally the knight spoke after a pause:
I have to admit--how silly I was!
How could I hope false hair would stay
When even my real hair blew away?
        The friend then smiled--and hugged the one
        Whose laugh at himself contained such fun.

MORAL: Nothing is quite so laughable as our own vanity.


from the book Prayers and Fables and the forthcoming book Aesop's Best: 80 Fables in Verse by William Cleary

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