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The Stag in the Ox-Stall

from Aesop's Fables





A STAG, roundly chased by the hounds and blinded by fear to the
danger he was running into, took shelter in a farmyard and hid
himself in a shed among the oxen. An Ox gave him this kindly
warning: "O unhappy creature! why should you thus, of your own
accord, incur destruction and trust yourself in the house of your
enemy?' The Stag replied: "Only allow me, friend, to stay where I
am, and I will undertake to find some favorable opportunity of
effecting my escape." At the approach of the evening the herdsman
came to feed his cattle, but did not see the Stag; and even the
farm-bailiff with several laborers passed through the shed and
failed to notice him. The Stag, congratulating himself on his
safety, began to express his sincere thanks to the Oxen who had
kindly helped him in the hour of need. One of them again
answered him: "We indeed wish you well, but the danger is not
over. There is one other yet to pass through the shed, who has
as it were a hundred eyes, and until he has come and gone, your
life is still in peril." At that moment the master himself
entered, and having had to complain that his oxen had not been
properly fed, he went up to their racks and cried out: "Why is
there such a scarcity of fodder? There is not half enough straw
for them to lie on. Those lazy fellows have not even swept the
cobwebs away." While he thus examined everything in turn, he
spied the tips of the antlers of the Stag peeping out of the
straw. Then summoning his laborers, he ordered that the Stag
should be seized and killed.





Next: The Hawk, the Kite, and the Pigeons

Previous: The Two Dogs



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