Ranae et Puer

Ecce stagnum:
stagnum magnum est.
In hoc stagno ranae multae habitant.
Puer ad stagnum advenit.
Puer lascivus est.
Stagnum contemplans, puer dicit,
"Ranas video!"
A puero territae,
ranae sub undis se celant.
Puer dicit,
"Ubi estis, ranae?
Ad me advenite!
Ludere volo!"
Denuo stagnum contemplans, 
puer ranas videt,
capitula caute exerentes de aquis.
Ridens, puer saxa colligit,
et per lusum saxis ranas appetit.
Hoc modo puer ranas multas necat.
Gemens et lacrimas effundens, 
rana una ad puerum clamat, 
"O puer, tuam misericordiam imploro!
Tu saxis ludis,
sed sorores meae mortuae sunt,
ut vides.
Hoc, quod lusum tibi, nobis mors est."



Inspired by: Mille Fabulae et Una.
Notes: This story is Fable 606. Ranae et Puer, from Camerarius (not in Perry). I have simplified the story, making it easier to read. For an English version (not a translation), see: The Boys and the Frogs.




Tortoise Is Angry at Hawk

Tortoise got angry when Hawk stole his flute. He watched and waited until Hawk flew away from his nest. Then Tortoise climbed up to the nest. 
Hawk's mother was there.
"Hawk forgot his flute!" said Tortoise. "He sent me to fetch it."
Hawk's mother gave Tortoise the flute.
Later, Hawk heard Tortoise playing.
"Where's my flute?" he yelled at his mother. She told him what had happened.
Hawk was so angry he threw her on the fire. Then he repented, but it was too late. She burned up.
That's why hawks hover over bush-fires: they are seeking their old mother.


Inspired by: Among the Ibos of Nigeria by G.T. Basden.
Notes: This is the conclusion of the story that started here: Tortoise and Guinea-Fowl Eat Apples



Hawk and Tortoise's Flute

After Tortoise ate Guinea-Fowl, he made a flute from Guinea-Fowl's leg bone. Then he sat outside his house and played: tilo-ntiloo-tiloo!
Hawk flew down and started to dance."What a wonderful flute!" he said. "Let me try it! I'll play while you dance."
"No!" replied Tortoise. "If I give you the flute, you will just fly away with it."
"Grab hold of my feathers if you want," said Hawk."I won't fly off."
Tortoise grabbed Hawk tightly by the feathers and handed him the flute. 
"Thank you!" said Hawk, and then he quickly flew off, leaving Tortoise with nothing but feathers.


Inspired by: Among the Ibos of Nigeria by G.T. Basden.
Notes: This is a continuation of Tortoise and Guinea-Fowl Eat Apples. The text of the song in the story is "tilo ntiloo tiloo, egwu nara n'obodo ayi" which the author translates as "music and dancing are taking place in our town." Find out what happens next: Tortoise Is Angry at Hawk.



(from South America)

Tortoise and Guinea-Fowl Eat Apples

"Let's go eat apples!" said Tortoise to Guinea-Fowl, and they went to the apple-tree.
"How will we get apples?" asked Guinea-Fowl.
"Like this," said Tortoise. He lay down and shouted, "Give me an apple!"
The tree hurled an apple on Tortoise's back. The apple split, and Guinea-Fowl ate the apple. "Delicious!" he said.
"Now you!" commanded Tortoise.
But Guinea-Fowl was scared. "My back isn't strong enough."
They argued, and finally Tortoise shouted, "Give Guinea-Fowl an apple!"
The tree hurled an apple down on Guinea-Fowl's head, killing him.
Tortoise ate the apple, and then he ate Guinea-Fowl too.
"Delicious!" he said.


Inspired by: Among the Ibos of Nigeria by G.T. Basden.
Notes: This is story is "Tortoise and Fowl," online at Hathi Trust. Basden doesn't say what kind of fowl this is, so I decided upon guinea-fowl. The fruit they are eating is African star-apple, although I just said apple. In the original story, both Tortoise and Guinea-Fowl divide the first apple, but I thought the story worked better if Tortoise was angry because Guinea-Fowl ate the first apple. This is just the first part of the story. Find out what happens next here: Hawk and Tortoise's Flute.

Bos et Cornua Eius

In mundi initio, bos creatus est sine cornibus.
Sui iuris ambulat per campos, 
iugi expers,
superbus,
erecta cervice,
sed sine cornibus.
Bos sibi dicit,
"Vires meas sentio,
et nulli animalium cedo 
aut viribus aut mole corporis!
Sed arma non habeo.
Cornibus mihi opus est!"
Supplex ergo bos Iovem petiit,
"O Iuppiter,
pater deorum et effector omnium creaturarum,
da mihi cornua!"
Annuit Iuppiter bovis votis,
cornua hinc et inde capiti inserens. 
Sed bovis felicitas non durat.
Homines nunc bovem cornibus capiunt et ligant.
Cornibus sic ligatus, 
bos iugo addictus est.
Sub onere bos ingemiscit. 
"Cornua inutilia habeo,
sed libertate utilissima careo."



Inspired by: Mille Fabulae et Una.
Notes: This story is Fable 282. Bos et Iuppiter, from Abstemius (not in Perry). I have simplified the story, making it easier to read. For an English version (not a translation), see: Jupiter and the Bull.



Viator et Mercurius

Viator, longum iter ingressus, 
Mercurio promittit,
"Si quid invenio, O Mercuri, 
tibi dimidium dabo!
Sic solemniter voveo."
Paulo post peram magnam invenit.
Laetus, peram capit, clamans,
"Si in pera nummi sunt, Deo dimidium dabo,
secundum votum meum solemne."
Sed in pera nummos non invenit.
Pera autem referta est amygdalis et dactylis.
Viator amygdalas comedit, cortices colligens,
et dactylos quoque, nucleos colligens.
"Habes, O Mercuri, dimidium,"
viator dicit, 
cortices et nucleos collocans in ara
quae ibi forte adest.
"Tibi offero et interiora et exteriora,
quod est dimidium, 
secundum votum meum solemne."
Fabula avarum respicit, 
qui avaritiae suae causa Deos quoque decipit.



Inspired by: Mille Fabulae et Una.
Notes: This story is Fable 788. Mercurius et Viator (Perry 178). I have simplified the story, making it easier to read. For an English version (not a translation), see: Hermes and the Traveler.



The Two Wolves and the Shepherd

Hunger prompted two wolves to attack the flock, but fear of the shepherd's dogs held them back. Finally, they came up with a plan: one wolf hid, while the other attacked the flock. 
When the dogs saw the wolf, they began to howl, alerting the shepherd, who also saw the wolf. "Get him!' the shepherd yelled, and the wolf led them all on a merry chase.
The other wolf then slaughtered the defenseless sheep, dragging their mangled corpses into the woods, where both wolves later enjoyed a great feast.
The worst danger is not always the one you can see.



Inspired by: Mille Fabulae et Una, a collection of Latin fables that I've edited, free to read online. I am not translating the Latin here; instead, I am just telling a 100-word version of the fable.
Notes: This is fable 87. Lupi Duo, Oves, et Opilio in the book, which is not in Perry; it comes from Desbillons.