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Aesop's Fables

AESOP WAS A SLAVE LIVING in ancient Greece a really long time ago. While he wasn't toiling under the hot sun, sleeping in a closet, or dying of some horrible disease, Aesop was telling fables - stories that were meant to teach his fellow slaves morals and keep them under the tyrannical control of their filthy rich masters. These masters were usually very comfortable landowners and stockholders. By keeping the slaves in their place, Aesop recieved considerable favor from his masters - double portions of gruel, three extra square feet in his sleeping closet, and he got to till the field with the most shade.

Some of Aesop's most fabulous fables (?) are reprinted in this chapter.


A kit fox was rambling along the deserts of Southern California looking for a meal. Very soon, he came upon a grape tree. Dangling off of a nearby branch were the most sorry, sour bunches of grapes he had ever seen.

As quickly as possible, he ran into the nearest town and bought the plot of land the grapes stood on. He aquired commercial rights to the grapes and started a winery on the spot.

The wise fox knew that sour grapes make the best wine. By the next fiscal year, he was the richest member of any endangered species in the world.

Moral : When life gives you sour grapes, make cheap California wine.


A tortoise and a hare made a considerable wager one day as to who could win a mile-long race. The hare knew he had it made in the shade - the tortoise, if you ask me, was pretty stupid, but let's put the improbability of the event aside - since when did rabbits and turtles place wagers anyway?

Anyway, the great day occured, and I alone can enlighten you with the true story - all of those Terrytoon or Disney renditions of this momentous event only serve to trivialize the incredible implications this event must have on the lives of me and my fellow slave-brothers.

The hare glided along the smooth racetrack, easily keeping way ahead of the ponderous tortoise, and just as he was about to cross the finish line, a hunter appeared out of nowhere and shot the bunny dead. Whether he was in cahoots with the tortoise is uncertain, but I'd be willing to place a small wager.

Anyway, the tortoise crossed the finish line (about six hours later) and spent the rest of his life riding the pinnacle of society as a famous playturtle and racer.

Moral : The race does not always go to the swiftest, but to those with the least nutritional value.


Whoops, this is Brothers Grimm, not Aesop.(1)


A dog and a wombat stowed away on a boat to Rhodes. The wombat asked the dog what business he had in Rhodes.

"Why, I've got a contract bridge tournament to attend," the dog replied, coughing. "What, er, business do you have in Rhodes?"

"I'm going to meet my girl friend Sylvia in Rhodes." the wombat casually remarked. On a second thought, he added, "The only reason I'm stowing away is because I gave my ticket money to some poor starving folk on the outskirts of Thessalonki."

"That's nice." the dog countered. "But I'm stowing away because I gave all of my money to a poor starving widowed contract bridge player with ten kids."

"Oh, I forgot! I'm the high priest at the Oracle of Rhodes and Sylvia, aside from being my girl friend, is also my high priestess!"

"The Oracle of Rhodes? Their incense is made by heathens and is offered in a wholly sacrilegious manner!"

"Well, I never play contract bridge either - personally, I think all bridge players ought to be examined for brain damage!"

"Wombats just don't have the cranial capacity to comprehend the joys contract bridge has to offer." the dog said with a condescending drawl. "It gives we intellectuals, however, a real rush."

The wombat began issuing forth expletives, and the dog returned each fresh insult with an even nastier imprication.

All of this noise called the crew's attention to their hiding place, and they were soon found. They were cooked and served for dinner, and they were eaten heartily by the hungry, burly, crusty sailors.

Moral : Hungry, burly, crusty sailors will eat anything.


All of the little teddy bears gathered in Faerie Glen for their annual "Cutsie Pie Picnic." They invited all of their friends, like the faeries, the elves, the leprechauns, the little bunny rabbits, your Great-Aunt Carol, the talking rose-bushes, all of the insane lunatics from the Manic Ward at the "Cutsie Pie Asylum", and the ghost of Danny Kaye.(2)

Anyway, at this saccharine festival there was much singing, dancing, drinking, and reverie.(3)

But this story is a fable, and a fable has to have a moral, and since this "Cutsie Pie Picnic" is obscenely sweet so as not to be believed, there must be an end to it, and soon.

So the Mauve Pessimists (cousins of the Blue Meanies) set out designs on the syrupy teddy bears' picnic, and decided to crash it, and thus ruin the gold-tinted sugar-coated existence of precious moppets everywhere!

While the little darlings danced around and hugged each other and delivered poetry readings, the Mauve Pessimists planted explosive charges all over the grounds of Faerie Glen.

Ted, one of the teddy bears, was bringing the big cake(4) that Mona the Leprechaun had made, when he stepped on one of the land mines that the Mauve Pessimists had hidden.

His body blew apart, and cotton and cake flew all over Faerie Glen.

The little cutsy-pies screamed shrilly in unison and started running all over the place. In so doing, they set off several dozen of the booby traps, and claimed at least that many adorable lives.

Meanwhile, the Mauve Pessimists merely sat on a nearby grassy spot and laughed at the grisly proceedings. They attempted to sing funeral marches to the tune of the melodious cries of horror that wafered out of the glen below.

But they, too, got their just desserts. As they turned and walked towards home, they fell off the edge of the world!

Moral : Gosh, I seem to have forgotten it.


I think this is in the wrong book.

Moral : Never put off 'till tomorrow... no, it is better to have a bird in... no, always check both ways before crossing... no, blessed are the meek... no, bring us some figgy pudding... no, fourscore and seven... no, you can fool some of the... no, whatever can go wrong... no, a penny saved is... no, a thousand points of light... aw, to heck with it.

1. It's easily to confuse the two. Really. What, you don't believe me?

2. Anybody who, upon reading this, breaks into a chorus of "The Inch Worm" or "Little White Duck" should be put out of their misery.

3. Once you've conversed with an elf who's hit the bottle a mite too much, you'll understand the implications of that statement.

4. With pink frosting, of course.

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