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."
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."
Little Robert asked his mother for two cents. "What did you do with the money I gave you yesterday?"
"I gave it to a poor old woman," he answered.
"You're a good boy," said the mother proudly. "Here are two cents more. But why are you so interested in the old woman?"
"She is the one who sells the candy."
A wolf was almost dead with hunger. A house-dog saw him, and asked, "Friend, your irregular life will soon ruin you.
"Why don't you work steadily as I do, and get your food regularly?"
"I would have no objection," said the wolf, "if I could only get a place." "I will help you," said the dog. "Come with me to my master, and you shall share my work."
So the wolf and the dog went to the town together.
On the way the wolf saw that there was no hair around the dog's neck.
He felt quite surprised, and asked him why it was like that?
"Oh, it is nothing," said the dog. "Every night my master puts a collar around my neck and chains me up. You will soon get used to it."
"Is that the only reason?" said the wolf. "Then good-bye to you, my friend. I would rather be free."
Many many years ago, in the State of Song, there was a city gate. Outside the gate was a moat with fishes that lived a quiet and happy life there. One day the tower above the city gate caught fire and the people of the city were alarmed. Even the fishes in the moat could hear the gone. "What's the noise about?" the fishes wondered. "I must go and find out," said one curious black carp. When he saw the tower on fire, he hurried back to tell hismates1. "Swim all you could! Swim all you could! Swim for life!" He cried to his fellow-fishes. "The city gate is burning!" So all the fishes except the carps started to swim away. Onearrogant2 carp even laughed at the other fishes. "Don't laugh," said the kind black carp. "You really ought to swim away, too, in good time." "Why should I?" asked the arrogant carp. "It's only their city gate on fire, what's it got to do with me in the water?" The fire spread very fast and the firemen had used up all the water in the city. But it was still burning. So they fetched waster from the moat. At long last, the fire was put out, but the moat had also gone dry, leaving a few sorry carps in theirdying3 struggle. This tale likens the city gate fire to disasters that do not seem to concern us but that can spread and involve even the innocent4.
很久很久以前，宋国有一座城池。城外有一条河，河中的鱼群生活的十分安定愉快。 有一天，城楼失火了，火警的钟声穿到了水中。 “为什么这么吵闹呢?”一条鱼问道，“我们得去看看!”好奇的青鱼已经先游去去查看了，当它看到城楼失火时，他急忙回来告诉他的同伴，“着火了，城楼失火了，快点叫他们逃命吧!” 所有的鱼都逃命去了，只有一条鲤鱼在嘲笑他们。青鱼对他说：“还不快逃命，还在这里笑什么?” “我为什么要逃，城楼失火了又不会蔓延到水中，我为什么要走呢?”鲤鱼回答。城中的水很快就用完了，火还没有扑灭，于是，人们都来护城河中取水救火。 火终于扑灭了，可是河也干涸了，只余下几条可怜的鲤鱼在河床上作垂死的挣扎。城门失火比喻因牵连而受祸害或损失。