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Group Two

11 A wolf becomes

12 A greedy lion

13 A lovesick cat

14 A milkmaid dreams

15 The greedy dog

16 Prideful mice

17 A drowning priest

18 A wise bear

19 A man tries

20 A clever donkey

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18. A Wise Bear Advises a Traveler

Two traveling friends met a bear one day
In a woods that was much overgrown,
One raced up a tree and left his poor friend
To face the wild creature alone.
        
        The other had heard that bears never will
        Take a bite of a man that's dead,
        So he lay down flat and the bear walked up
        And sniffed him from toe to head.

Away went the bear, and down came the friend:
Did that bear speak into your ear?
He anxiously asked. Tell me what he said!
It's something I'm eager to hear!


        Said the smiling friend, He whispered to me
        A secret surprising but clear,
        Never travel with so-called friends,
said that bear,
        Who when needed will just disappear.

MORAL: A friend in need is a friend indeed.


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

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