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Fable Aesop
The Stag In The Ox-Stall
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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.

(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)
 

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