Aesops’s “The Dog and the Wolf” (Long version)

Aesops’s “The Dog and the Wolf” (Long version)

From World’s Greatest Literature Set

A lean, hungry, half-starved Wolf happened, one moonshiny night, to meet with a jolly, plump, well-fed Mastiff; and after the first compliments were passed, says the Wolf: – “You look extremely well. I protest, I think I never saw a more graceful, comely person; but how comes it about, I beseech you, that you should live so much better than I? I may say, without vanity, that I venture fifty times more than you do; and yet I am almost ready to perish with hunger.”

The dog answered very bluntly, “Why, you may live as well, if you will do the same for it that I do.” – “Indeed? what is that?” says he. – “Why,” says the Dog, “only to guard the house a-nights, and keep it from thieves.” – “With all my heart,” replies the Wolf, ” for at present I have but a sorry time of it; and I think to change my hard lodging in the woods, where I endure rain, frost, and snow, for a warm roof over my head, and a bellyful of good victuals, will be no bad bargain.” – “True,” says the Dog; “therefore you have nothing more to do but to follow me.”

Now, as they were jogging on together, the Wolf spied a crease in the Dog’s neck, and having a strange curiosity, could not forbear asking him what it meant. “Pooh! nothing,” says the Dog. – “Nay, but pray-” says the Wolf. – “Why,” says the Dog, “if you must know, I am tied up in the daytime, because I am a little fierce, for fear that I should bite people, and am only let loose a-nights. But this is done with the design to make sleep a-days, more than anything else, and that I may watch the better in the night-time; for as soon as ever the twilight appears, out I am turned, and may go where I please. Then my master brings me plates of bones from the table with his own hands, and whatever scraps are left by any of the family, all fall to my share; for you must know I am a favorite with everybody. So you see how you are to live. Come, come along: what is the matter with you?”

– “No,” replied the Wolf, “I beg your pardon: keep your happiness all to yourself. Liberty is the word with me; and I would not be a king upon the terms you mention.”

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