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Living Arts Originals features a wide variety of articles on all types of symbols and their meanings. The types of symbols that Living Arts Originals focuses on include flowers, animals, colors, nature, color, sacred, and many more.

Animal Symbols: Aesop's Fables
Edited
√ Updated September 14, 2010

Aesop was a slave in ancient Greece (born approximately 620BC). He was given his freedom by his second master as a reward for his learning and wit. Aesop was a master of telling morality tales based on animal characters, often with a humorous twist. His tales reveal our stereotypical views and the symbolic meaning of animals: proud lions, busy bees, industrious ants and more.

Androcles and the Lion
The Ant and the Chrysalis
The Ant and The Dove
The Camel
The Cat and the Mice
The Crow and the Pitcher
The Crow and the Raven
The Eagle and the Arrow
The Eagle and the Fox
The Eagle, the Cat and the Wild Sow
The Fox and the Cat
The Fox and the Hedgehog
The Horse and the Stag
The Horse and the Ass
The Lamb and the Wolf
  The Lion and the Eagle
The Lion and the Mouse
The Monkey and the Dolphin
The Oxen and the Butcher
The Peacock and the Crane
The Rabbit and the Tortoise
The Rabbits and the Frogs
The Rabbit and the Hound
The Rabbit with Many Friends
The Rabbits and the Foxes
The Snake and the Eagle
The Serpent and the File
The Tortoise and the Birds
The Tortoise and the Eagle

More Information About Animal Symbols on This Website

Learn more animal symbolism in our article Find Your Animal Symbol: Traditional Animal Symbols. Or see our article on Chinese Animal Symbols. Also see our articles on Animal Totems, Feng Shui Animals, Animals in Dreams, Celtic Bird Symbols, The Meaning of Unicorns, The Meaning of the Phoenix and The Meaning of Dragons.

Animal-Related Products and Gifts

For more products and gifts related to animals, please visit our pages of animal-related books, animal jewelry charms, animal artwork and animal photos.

General Books About Animal Symbolism

For more information on Aesop's fables and animal symbolism, see these recommended books on Amazon:
The Classic Treasury of Aesop's Fables
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Animal Symbolism of the Chinese Zodiac
Medieval Menagerie

See each section below for books related to specific animals.




Androcles and the Lion

Lion Animal SymbolismA slave named Androcles once escaped from his master and fled to the forest. As he was wandering about there he came upon a Lion lying down moaning and groaning. At first he turned to flee, but finding that the Lion did not pursue him, he turned back and went up to him. As he came near, the Lion put out his paw, which was all swollen and bleeding, and Androcles found that a huge thorn had got into it, and was causing all the pain. He pulled out the thorn and bound up the paw of the Lion, who was soon able to rise and lick the hand of Androcles like a dog.

Then the Lion took Androcles to his cave, and every day used to bring him meat from which to live. But shortly afterwards both Androcles and the Lion were captured, and the slave was sentenced to be thrown to the Lion, after the latter had been kept without food for several
days.

The Emperor and all his Court came to see the spectacle, and Androcles was led out into the middle of the arena. Soon the Lion was let loose from his den, and rushed bounding and roaring towards his victim. But as soon as he came near to Androcles he recognized his friend, and fawned upon him, and licked his hands like a friendly dog.

The Emperor, surprised at this, summoned Androcles to him, who told him the whole story. Whereupon the slave was pardoned and freed, and the Lion let loose to his native forest.

Moral: Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.

Recommended Amazon Books About Lions
Part of the Pride: My Life Among the Big Cats of Africa
Animal Tracks and Signs: Track Over 400 Animals From Big Cats to Backyard Birds
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Ant and the Chrysalis

Ant Animal SymbolAn Ant nimbly running about in the sunshine in search of food came across a Chrysalis that was very near its time of change. The Chrysalis moved its tail, and thus attracted the attention of the Ant, who then saw for the first time that it was alive.

"Poor, pitiable animal!" cried the Ant disdainfully. "What a sad fate is yours! While I can run hither and thither, at my pleasure, and, if I wish, ascend the tallest tree, you lie imprisoned here in your shell, with power only to move a joint or two of your scaly tail."

The Chrysalis heard all this, but did not try to make any reply. A few days after, when the Ant passed that way again, nothing but the shell remained. Wondering what had become of its contents, he felt himself suddenly shaded and fanned by the gorgeous wings of a beautiful Butterfly.

"Behold in me," said the Butterfly, "your much-pitied friend! Boast now of your powers to run and climb as long as you can get me to listen." So saying, the Butterfly rose in the air, and, borne along and aloft on the summer breeze, was soon lost to the sight of the Ant forever.

Moral: Appearances can be deceiving.

Recommended Books About Ants
The Life and Times of the Ant
Ant Cities (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
Insect Identification Chart Poster
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Ant and the Dove

Dove Animal SymbolAn ant went to the bank of a river to quench its thirst, and being carried away by the rush of the stream, was on the point of drowning. A Dove sitting on a tree overhanging the water plucked a leaf and let it fall into the stream close to her. The Ant climbed onto it and floated in safety to the bank.

Shortly afterwards a bird catcher came and stood under the tree, and laid his lime-twigs for the Dove, which sat in the branches. The Ant, perceiving his design, stung him in the foot. In pain the bird catcher threw down the twigs, and the noise made the Dove take wing.

Moral: One good turn deserves another.

Recommended Books About Ants
The Life and Times of the Ant
Ant Cities (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
Insect Identification Chart Poster
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Camel

Camel Animal SymbolWhen man first saw the Camel, he was so frightened at his vast size that he ran away. After a time, perceiving the meekness and gentleness of the beast's temper, he summoned courage enough to approach him.

Soon afterwards, observing that he was an animal altogether deficient in spirit, he assumed such boldness as to put a bridle in his mouth, and to let a child drive him.

Moral: Use overcomes dread.

Recommended Amazon Books
I Wonder Why Camels Have Humps: And Other Questions About Animals
Camels (Asian Animals)
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Cat and the Mice

Animal SymbolA certain house was overrun with Mice. A Cat, discovering this, made her way into it and began to catch and eat them one by one. Fearing for their lives, the Mice kept themselves close in their holes.

The Cat was no longer able to get at them and perceived that she must tempt them forth by some device. For this purpose she jumped upon a peg, and suspending herself from it, pretended to be dead.

One of the Mice, peeping stealthily out, saw her and said, "Ah, my good madam, even though you should turn into a meal-bag, we will not come near you."

Moral: He who is once deceived is doubly cautious.

Recommended Amazon Books
Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life
The Cat Owner's Manual: Operating Instructions, Troubleshooting Tips, and Advice
Four Paws, Five Directions: A Guide to Chinese Medicine for Cats and Dogs
The Natural Cat
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Crow and the Pitcher

Celtic Bird SymbolsA crow perishing with thirst saw a pitcher, and hoping to find water, flew to it with delight. When he reached it, he discovered to his grief that it contained so little water that he could not possibly get at it. He tried everything he could think of to reach the water, but all his efforts were in vain. At last he collected as many stones as he could carry and dropped them one by one with his beak into the pitcher, until he brought the water within his reach and thus saved his life.

Moral: Necessity is the mother of invention.

Recommended Amazon Books
The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America
National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Crow and the Raven

Celtic Bird SymbolsA crow was jealous of the Raven, because he was considered a bird of good omen and always attracted the attention of men, who noted by his flight the good or evil course of future events. Seeing some travelers approaching, the Crow flew up into a tree, and perching herself on one of the branches, cawed as loudly as she could. The travelers turned towards the sound and wondered what it foreboded, when one of them said to his companion, "Let us proceed on our journey, my friend, for it is only the caw of a crow, and her cry, you know, is no omen."

Moral: Those who assume a character which does not belong to them, only make themselves ridiculous.

Recommended Amazon Books
The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America
National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Eagle and the Arrow

Eagle Animal SymbolAn Eagle was soaring through the air when suddenly it heard the whiz of an Arrow, and felt itself wounded to death. Slowly it fluttered down to the earth, with its life-blood pouring out of it. Looking down upon the Arrow with which it had been pierced,it found that the shaft of the Arrow had been feathered with one of its own plumes. "Alas!" it cried, as it died,

Moral: We often give our enemies the means for our own destruction.

Recommended Amazon Books
An Eagle Named Freedom: My True Story of a Remarkable Friendship
The Eagle Watchers: Observing and Conserving Raptors Around the World
The Bald Eagle (Welcome Books)
Eyewitness: Eagles & Birds of Prey
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Eagle and the Fox

Fox Animal SymbolismAn Eagle and a Fox formed an intimate friendship and decided to live near each other. The Eagle built her nest in the branches of a tall tree, while the Fox crept into the under wood and there produced her young. Not long after they had agreed upon this plan, the Eagle, being in want of provision for her young ones,swooped down while the Fox was out, seized upon one of the little cubs, and feasted herself and her brood.

The Fox on her return, discovered what had happened, but was less grieved for the death of her young than for her inability to avenge them. A just retribution, however, quickly fell upon the Eagle. While hovering near an altar, on which some villagers were sacrificing a goat, she suddenly seized a piece of the flesh, and carried it, along with a burning cinder, to her nest.

A strong breeze soon fanned the spark into a flame, and the eaglets, as yet unfledged and helpless, were roasted in their nest and dropped down dead at the bottom of the tree. There, in the sight of the Eagle, the Fox gobbled them up.

Moral: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Recommended Amazon Books
An Eagle Named Freedom: My True Story of a Remarkable Friendship
The Eagle Watchers: Observing and Conserving Raptors Around the World
The Bald Eagle (Welcome Books)
Eyewitness: Eagles & Birds of Prey
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Eagle, the Cat, and the Wild Sow

Pig SymbolismAn Eagle made her nest at the top of a lofty oak; a Cat, having found a convenient hole, moved into the middle of the trunk; and a Wild Sow, with her young, took shelter in a hollow at its foot. The Cat cunningly resolved to destroy this chance-made colony.

To carry out her design, she climbed to the nest of the Eagle, and said, "Destruction is preparing for you, and for me too, unfortunately. The Wild Sow, whom you see daily digging up the earth, wishes to uproot the oak, so she may on its fall seize our families as food for her young."

Having thus frightened the Eagle out of her senses, she crept down to the cave of the Sow, and said, "Your children are in great danger; for as soon as you go out with your litter to find food, the Eagle is prepared to pounce upon one of your little pigs."

Having instilled these fears into the Sow, she went and pretended to hide herself in the hollow of the tree. When night came she went forth with silent foot and obtained food for herself and her kittens, but feigning to be afraid, she kept a lookout all through the day. Meanwhile, the Eagle, full of fear of the Sow, sat still on the branches, and the Sow, terrified by the Eagle, did not dare to go out from her cave. And thus they both, along with their families, perished from hunger, and afforded ample provision for the Cat and her kittens.

Moral: Gossips are to be seen but not heard.

Recommended Amazon Books
An Eagle Named Freedom: My True Story of a Remarkable Friendship
The Eagle Watchers: Observing and Conserving Raptors Around the World
The Bald Eagle (Welcome Books)
Eyewitness: Eagles & Birds of Prey
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Fox and the Cat

Fox Animal SymbolismA Fox was boasting to a Cat of its clever devices for escaping its enemies. "I have a whole bag of tricks," he said, "which contains a hundred ways of escaping my enemies."

"I have only one," said the Cat; "but I can generally manage with that." Just at that moment they heard the cry of a pack of hounds coming towards them, and the Cat immediately scampered up a tree and hid herself in the boughs. "This is my plan," said the Cat. "What are you going to do?"

The Fox thought first of one way, then of another, and while he was debating the hounds came nearer and nearer, and at last the Fox in his confusion was caught up by the hounds and soon killed by the huntsmen.

Moral: Better one safe way than a hundred on which you cannot reckon.

Recommended Amazon Books
Fox (See How They Grow)
Arctic Fox: Life at the Top of the World
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Fox and the Hedgehog

Hedgehog Animal SymbolismA Fox swimming across a rapid river was carried by the force of the current into a very deep ravine, where he lay for a long time very much bruised, sick, and unable to move. A swarm of hungry blood-sucking flies settled upon him. A Hedgehog, passing by, saw his anguish and inquired if he should drive away the flies that were tormenting him.

"By no means," replied the Fox; "pray do not molest them."

"How is this?' said the Hedgehog, "do you not want to be rid of them?"

"No," returned the Fox, "for these flies which you see are full of blood, and sting me but little, and if you rid me of these which are already satiated, others more hungry will come in their place, and will drink up all the blood I have left."

Moral: A needy thief steals more than one who enjoys plenty.

Recommended Amazon Books
Fox (See How They Grow)
Arctic Fox: Life at the Top of the World
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Horse and the Stag

Horse SymbolAT ONE TIME the Horse had the plain entirely to himself. Then a Stag intruded into his domain and shared his pasture. The Horse, desiring to revenge himself on the stranger, asked a man if he were willing to help him in punishing the Stag.

The man replied that if the Horse would receive a bit in his mouth and agree to carry him, he would contrive effective weapons against the Stag. The Horse consented and allowed the man to mount him. From that hour he found that instead of obtaining revenge on the Stag, he had enslaved himself to the service of man.

Moral: Liberty is too huge a price to pay for revenge.

Recommended Amazon Books
Complete Horse Care Manual
Equine Acupressure: A Working Manual
Horse (DK Eyewitness Books)
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Horse and the Ass

Horse Symbol2A Horse and an Ass were traveling together, the Horse prancing along in its fine trappings, the Ass carrying with difficulty the heavy weight in its panniers. "I wish I were you," sighed the Ass; "nothing to do and well fed, and all that fine harness upon you."

Next day, however, there was a great battle, and the Horse was wounded to death in the final charge of the day. His friend, the Ass, happened to pass by shortly afterwards and found him on the point of death.

Moral: Better humble security than gilded danger.

Recommended Amazon Books
Complete Horse Care Manual
Equine Acupressure: A Working Manual
Horse (DK Eyewitness Books)
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Lamb and the Wolf

Lamb SymbolismA Wolf pursued a Lamb, which fled for refuge to a certain temple. The Wolf called out to him and said, "The Priest will slay you in sacrifice, if he should catch you."

To which the Lamb replied, "It would be better for me to be sacrificed in the temple than to be eaten by you."

Moral: An honorable death is best

Recommended Amazon Books
Managing Your Ewe and Her Newborn Lambs
Practical Lambing and Lamb Care: A Veterinary Guide
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



Lion Animal SymbolismThe Lion and the Eagle

An Eagle stayed his flight and entreated a Lion to make an alliance with him to their mutual advantage. The Lion replied, "I have no objection, but you must excuse me for requiring you to find surety for your good faith, for how can I trust anyone as a friend who is able to fly away from his bargain whenever he pleases?'

Moral: Try before you trust.

Recommended Amazon Books
Part of the Pride: My Life Among the Big Cats of Africa
Animal Tracks and Signs: Track Over 400 Animals From Big Cats to Backyard Birds
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Lion and the Mouse

Lion Animal SymbolismA Lion was awakened from sleep by a Mouse running over his face. Rising up angrily, he caught him and was about to kill him, when the Mouse piteously entreated, saying: "If you would only spare my life, I would be sure to repay your kindness."

The Lion laughed and let him go. It happened shortly after this that the Lion was caught by some hunters, who bound him by strong ropes to the ground.

The Mouse, recognizing his roar, came and gnawed the rope with his teeth and set him free, exclaiming: "You ridiculed the idea of my ever being able to help you, expecting to receive from me any repayment of your favor; now you know that it is possible for even a Mouse to benefit a Lion."

Moral: No favor, however small, is ever wasted.

Recommended Amazon Books
Part of the Pride: My Life Among the Big Cats of Africa
Animal Tracks and Signs: Track Over 400 Animals From Big Cats to Backyard Birds
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Monkey and the Dolphin

Mondy SymbolA sailor, bound on a long voyage, took with him a Monkey to amuse him while on shipboard. As he sailed off the coast of Greece, a violent tempest arose in which the ship was wrecked and he, his Monkey, and all the crew were obliged to swim for their lives.

A Dolphin saw the Monkey contending with the waves, and supposing him to be a man (whom he is always said to befriend), came and placed himself under him, to convey him on his back in safety to the shore. When the Dolphin arrived with his burden in sight of land not far from Athens, he asked the Monkey if he were an Athenian.

The latter replied that he was, and that he was descended from one of the most noble families in that city. The Dolphin then inquired if he knew the Piraeus (the famous harbor of Athens). Supposing that a man was meant, the Monkey answered that he knew him very well and that he was an intimate friend.

The Dolphin, indignant at these falsehoods, dipped the Monkey under the water and drowned him.

Moral: Those who lie find themselves in deep water.

Recommended Amazon Books
A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons
My Life with the Chimpanzees
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Oxen and the Butcher

Os Animal SymbolThe Oxen once upon a time sought to destroy the Butchers, who practiced a trade destructive to their race. They assembled on a certain day to carry out their purpose, and sharpened their horns for the contest. But one of them who was exceedingly old (for many a field had he plowed) thus spoke: "These Butchers, it is true, slaughter us, but they do so with skillful hands, and with no unnecessary pain. If we get rid of them, we shall fall into the hands of unskillful operators, and thus suffer a double death: for you may be assured, that though all the Butchers should perish, yet will men ever want beef."

Moral: Do not be in a hurry to change one evil for another.

Recommended Amazon Books
Oxen: A Teamster's Guide (Story's Working Animals)
Musk Oxen (Animal Prey)
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Peacock and the Crane

Peacock Animal SymbolA Peacock spreading its gorgeous tail mocked a Crane that passed by, ridiculing the ashen hue of its plumage and saying, "I am robed, like a king, in gold and purple and all the colors of the rainbow; while you have not a bit of color on your wings."

"True," replied the Crane; "but I soar to the heights of heaven and lift up my voice to the stars, while you walk below, like a cock, among the birds of the dunghill."

Moral: Fine feathers don't make fine birds.

Recommended Amazon Books
Living With Peacocks
Peacocks, Penguins & Other Birds (Animal Kingdom Classification)
Peacocks (Early Bird Nature Books)
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Rabbit and the Tortoise

Tortoise Animal SymbolA Hare one day ridiculed the short feet and slow pace of the Tortoise, who replied, laughing: "Though you be swift as the wind, I will beat you in a race." The Hare, believing her assertion to be simply impossible, assented to the proposal; and they agreed that the Fox should choose the course and fix the goal.

On the day appointed for the race the two started together. The Tortoise never for a moment stopped, but went on with a slow but steady pace straight to the end of the course. The Hare, lying down by the wayside, fell fast asleep. At last waking up, and moving as fast as he could, he saw the Tortoise had reached the goal, and was comfortably dozing after her fatigue.

Moral: Slow but steady wins the race.

Recommended Amazon Books
Barnyard in Your Backyard: A Beginner's Guide
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Rabbits and the Frogs

Rabbit Animal SymbolThe Rabbits, oppressed by their own exceeding timidity and weary of the perpetual alarm to which they were exposed, with one accord determined to put an end to themselves and their troubles by jumping from a lofty precipice into a deep lake below.

As they scampered off in large numbers to carry out their resolve, the Frogs lying on the banks of the lake heard the noise of their feet and rushed helter-skelter to the deep water for safety.

On seeing the rapid disappearance of the Frogs, one of the Hares cried out to his companions: "Stay, my friends, do not do as you intended; for you now see that there are creatures who are still more timid than ourselves."

Moral: There are always others worse off then yourself.

Recommended Amazon Books
Barnyard in Your Backyard: A Beginner's Guide
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Rabbit and the Hound

Animal SymbolA Hound started a Hare from his lair, but after a long run, gave up the chase. A shepherd, seeing him stop, mocked him, saying "The little one is the best runner of the two."

The Hound replied, "You do not see the difference between us: I was only running for a dinner, but he for his life."

Moral: Necessity is the strongest weapon

Recommended Amazon Books
Barnyard in Your Backyard: A Beginner's Guide
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Rabbit With Many Friends

Rabbit Animal SymbolA Rabbit was very popular with the other beasts who all claimed to be her friends. But one day she heard the hounds approaching and hoped to escape them by the aid of her many friends.

So, she went to the horse, and asked him to carry her away from the hounds on his back. But he declined, stating that he had important work to do for his master. "He felt sure," he said, "that all her other friends would come to her assistance."

She then applied to the bull, and hoped that he would repel the hounds with his horns. The bull replied: "I am very sorry, but I have an appointment with a lady; but I feel sure that our friend the goat will do what you want."

The goat, however, feared that his back might be harmed if he took her upon it. The ram, he felt sure, was the proper friend to apply to. So she went to the ram and told him the case.

The ram replied: "Another time, my dear friend. I do not like to interfere on the present occasion, as hounds have been known to eat sheep as well as hares."

The Rabbit then applied, as a last hope, to the calf, who regretted that he was unable to help her, as he did not like to take the responsibility upon himself, as so many older persons than himself had declined the task. By this time the hounds were quite near, and the Rabbit took to her heels and barely escaped.

Moral: He that has many friends, has no friends.

Recommended Amazon Books
Barnyard in Your Backyard: A Beginner's Guide
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Rabbits and the Foxes

Fox Animal SymbolismThe Rabbits waged war with the Eagles, and called upon the Foxes to help them. The Foxes replied, "We would willingly have helped you, if we had not known who you were, and with whom you were fighting."

Moral: Count the cost before you commit yourselves.

Recommended Amazon Books
Barnyard in Your Backyard: A Beginner's Guide
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Snake and the Eagle

Eagle Animal SymbolAn Eagle swooped down upon a Serpent and seized it in his talons with the intention of carrying it off and devouring it. But the Serpent was too quick for him and had its coils round him in a moment; and then there ensued a life-and-death struggle between the two.

A countryman, who was a witness of the encounter, came to the assistance of the eagle, and succeeded in freeing him from the Serpent and enabling him to escape. In revenge, the Serpent spat some of his poison into the man's drinking-horn.

Heated with his exertions, the man was about to slake his thirst with a draught from the horn, when the Eagle knocked it out of his hand, and spilled its contents upon the ground.

Moral: One good turn deserves another.

Recommended Amazon Books
Chinese Astrology: Exploring The Eastern Zodiac
Animal Symbolism of the Chinese Zodiac
National Geographic Readers: Snakes!
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



Snake SymbolThe Serpent and the File

A Serpent in the course of its wanderings came into an armourer's shop. As he glided over the floor he felt his skin pricked by a file lying there. In a rage he turned round upon it and tried to dart his fangs into it; but he could do no harm to heavy iron and had soon to give over his wrath.

Moral: It is useless attacking the insensible.

Recommended Amazon Books
Chinese Astrology: Exploring The Eastern Zodiac
Animal Symbolism of the Chinese Zodiac
National Geographic Readers: Snakes!
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Tortoise and the Birds

Tortoise Animal SymbolA Tortoise desired to change its place of residence, so he asked an Eagle to carry him to his new home, promising her a rich reward for her trouble. The Eagle agreed and seizing the Tortoise by the shell with her talons soared aloft.

On their way they met a Crow, who said to the Eagle: "Tortoise is good eating."

"The shell is too hard," said the Eagle in reply.

"The rocks will soon crack the shell," was the Crow's answer; and the Eagle, taking the hint, let fall the Tortoise on a sharp rock, and the two birds made a hearty meal of the Tortoise.

Moral: Never soar aloft on an enemy's good will

Recommended Amazon Books
Chinese Astrology: Exploring The Eastern Zodiac
Animal Symbolism of the Chinese Zodiac
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols



The Tortoise and the Eagle

Eagle Animal SymbolA Tortoise, lazily basking in the sun, complained to the sea-birds of her hard fate, that no one would teach her to fly. An Eagle, hovering near, heard her lamentation and demanded what reward she would give him if he would take her aloft and float her in the air.

"I will give you," she said, "all the riches of the Red Sea."

"I will teach you to fly then," said the Eagle; and taking her up in his talons he carried her almost to the clouds suddenly he let her go, and she fell on a lofty mountain, dashing her shell to pieces.

The Tortoise exclaimed in the moment of death: "I have deserved my present fate; for what had I to do with wings and clouds, who can with difficulty move about on the earth?'

Moral: If men had all they wished, they would be often ruined.

Recommended Amazon Books
Chinese Astrology: Exploring The Eastern Zodiac
Animal Symbolism of the Chinese Zodiac
Animal Life in Nature, Myth and Dreams
Nature and Its Symbols


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