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Group Four

31 The brash gnat

32 The enemy's trumpeter

33 A tortoise dies

34 A doomed man

35 The scorpion stings

36 A wolf finds reasons

37 The stork chooses

38 The tricky wolf

39 A donkey thinks

40 A patient dies

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34. A Doomed Man Enjoys Revenge

Two bitter foes got on a ship,
One sat back in the stern
The other took a seat in front,
Annoyed and taciturn.

        Then one great wave crashed on the ship
        And filled it to the brink
        And soon there was no doubt at all
        That little ship would sink.

The foe in back called to the mate
Which end will go down first?
The front, my friend
, the mate replied
That's where our load is worst.

        Hurrah!
the man in back called out
         Today I'm filled with glee,
        Knowing my foe is sure to die
        (Though just ahead of me).

MORAL: Hatred can blind us 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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