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Group Four

31 A man argues

32 The deer misjudges

33 The dying farmer

34 The baby goat

35 The pigeons choose

36 The big trees

37 A mean dog

38 The selfish horse

39 A boy cries wolf

40 The fox outwits the crow

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33. The Dying Farmer Tricks His Sons

A farmer fearing death was near
Summoned his sons so they could near:
         I fear, my boys, that I'll soon be dead:
        My legacy? Look in the vineyard!
he said.

When he died, those sons dug everywhere,
Plowing that vineyard unaware,
        And the vines grew up like never before,
        And the grapes grew plentiful, more and more.

Aha! they said: Our Pa's estate
is the lesson that HARD WORK makes life great!
        What a fine legacy for us fools!
        An inheritance richer than money and jewels.

MORAL: The best inheritance is a parent's wisdom.


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

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