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Group Three

21 The boastful rooster

22 Grasshoppers fail

23 A hunter hunts

24 A swan sings

25 An eagle dies

26 The foolish crab

27 A reckless deer

28 The foolhardy shepherd

29 A wolf refuses

30 A wily fox

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23. The Hunter Hunts Only Tracks


A hunter, fearsome to behold,
One day strapped on his heavy pack,
Took up a long spear in his hands
And slung a big axe on his back.
        Then strode with grit into the woods,
        All camouflage from head to toe,
        His food pack bristling at his waist
        With skins of wine tied on below.

Have you seen tracks? he asked a man
He found asleep beneath a tree,
Of lions, bears, wild boar and wolves,
Whatever vicious beasts there be?

        The man said, Oh, I know a place
        A lion hides to stalk its prey!
        OH, NO!
the hunter quickly said,
        Just tracks is what I seek today.

Since it was noon, he sat him down
And drank his wine and ate his bun,
Ah, hunting is a daunting sport,
He said, and slept till day was done.

MORAL: Fools prefer appearance to reality.


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

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