The Raven and the Swan
A RAVEN saw a Swan and desired to secure for himself the same beautiful plumage. Supposing that the Swans splendid white color arose from his washing in the water in which he swam, the Raven left the altars in the neighborhood where he picked up his living, and took up residence in the lakes and pools. But cleansing his feathers as often as he would, he could not change their color, while through want of food he perished.
Change of habit cannot alter Nature.
The Old Cat
An old woman had a cat. The cat was very old; she could not run quickly, and she could not bite, because she was so old. One day the old cat saw a mouse; she jumped and caught the mouse. But she could not bite it; so the mouse got out of her mouth and ran away, because the cat could not bite it.
Then the old woman became very angry because the cat had not killed the mouse. She began to hit the cat. The cat said, Do not hit your old servant. I have worked for you for many years, and I would work for you still, but I am too old. Do not be unkind to the old, but remember what good work the old did when they were young.
The City Mouse and the Country Mouse
Once there were two mice. They were friends. One mouse lived in the country; the other mouse lived in the city. After many years the Country mouse saw the City mouse; he said, Do come and see me at my house in the country. So the City mouse went. The City mouse said, This food is not good, and your house is not good. Why do you live in a hole in the field? You should come and live in the city. You would live in a nice house made of stone. You would have nice food to eat. You must come and see me at my house in the city.
The Country mouse went to the house of the City mouse. It was a very good house. Nice food was set ready for them to eat. But just as they began to eat they heard a great noise. The City mouse cried, Run! Run! The cat is coming! They ran away quickly and hid.
After some time they came out. When they came out, the Country mouse said, I do not like living in the city. I like living in my hole in the field. For it is nicer to be poor and happy, than to be rich and afraid.