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Group Three

21 The tortoise

22 A thin reed survives

23 The lion and the mouse

24 The goat and the lion

25 The mother lion

26 The donkey's shadow

27 The dove and the ant

28 The greedy boy's hand

29 The greedy woman

30 The tricky donkey

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29. The Greedy Woman Overfeeds Her Hen

A woman once owned a perky hen
That laid a fine egg now and then,
        And some she ate and some she sold
        And soon she'd saved a bag of gold.

She thought: That hen won't eat enough!
Suppose I feed her sweets and stuff!
        She'll lay huge eggs like we ain't seen,
        And I'll get richer than the QUEEN!

She put her greedy plan to work,
But soon that hen began to shirk,
        Too fat she grew and full of strife,
        And laid no more eggs all her life.

MORAL: The urge to exploit the natural world can destroy it.

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

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