Tag Archives: fabulist

The Spider and the Fly

By Mary Howitt

“Will you walk into my parlor?” said the Spider to the Fly,
“‘Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show you when you are there.”
“Oh no, no,” said the Fly, “to ask me is in vain;
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the Spider to the Fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin;
And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in!”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “for I’ve often heard it said
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!”

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, “Dear friend, what can I do
To prove that warm affection I’ve always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome – will you please take a slice?”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “kind sir, that cannot be,
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!”

“Sweet creature,” said the Spider, “you’re witty and you’re wise;
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf;
If you step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”
“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you’re pleased to say;
And bidding good morning now, I’ll call another day.”

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again;
So he wove a subtle web in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the Fly.
then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
“Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple, there’s a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are as dull as lead.”

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew, –
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
Thinking only of her crested head – poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den
Within his little parlor – but she ne’er came out again!

And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne’er heed;
Unto an evil counsellor close heart, and ear, and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.

 

Mary Howitt, (1799–1888) published The Spider and the Fly in 1829. It is a cautionary tale about the use of flattery and charm to mask evil and unsavory intentions. Although written so long ago, the poem is as relevant today as the day it was written. That is why I have included the poem here in FabulousFables.com. The poem’s lesson is timeless.

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

Aesop

Who was Aesop?

It depends which story you believe, but one version is that he was a deformed, stuttering Greek slave in the 6th century B.C. who was granted the gift of crafting fables by the goddess Isis.

The magic of Isis transformed Aesop into the legendary fabulist whose stories live on because of their timeless lessons.

Aesop’s fables have been told and retold throughout history. You can find different versions of the same story among different cultures.

In the end, according to one version, Aesop was thrown off a cliff by the people of Delphi, who then suffered pestilence and famine. Whether true or not, I like to imagine that Isis used her powers to curse those who dared kill the legendary storyteller.

David Madrid, president of FabulousFables.com, is a storyteller who also writes fables. While impossible to compete with Aesop, the greatest fabulist of all time, this website offers fables that we hope teach lessons that both children and adults will recognize and consider.

FabulousFables.com will occasionally offer you its version of Aesop’s fables.

We love the fable, and we thank Aesop for showing us the way.

365px-Aesop_woodcut_Spain_1489[1]

A woodcut from La vida del Ysopet con sus fabulas historiadas (Spain, 1489) depicting a hunchbacked Aesop surrounded by events from the stories in Planudes’ version of his life.

Woodcut image from Wikipedia

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

The Stuck Truck

The Stuck Truck

It was the driver’s bad luck

That the truck got stuck

As he drove beneath the overpass.

Slightly wedged, he hit the gas,

And jammed the truck in tight.

So they called far and wide for experts who were bright,

Engineers with brilliant minds,

A solution they would surely find.

An expert said: “We can use some floor-to-ceiling jacks

“To raise the overpass.”

But with each lift of a jack

The arch that held the bridge cracked.

“We can cut off the top of the truck with a saw,”

Was another idea with a serious flaw.

Two geniuses discussed breaking apart the road above.

“It will loosen the arch just enough.”

People gathered on the bridge and looked down.

“Oh my, what will they do?” they fretted and frowned.

But a young boy nearby licking a sucker

Said: “I know how to help the troubled trucker.

“Why don’t you deflate the tires on the truck?

“I’ll wager that the truck will drop and become unstuck.”

For all those brains that had traveled for miles,

None saw the problem through the eyes of a child.

And so dear readers, remember the lesson

Taught so long ago by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

That it doesn’t matter who you meet

When you are walking down the street.

That person can teach you a thing or two

Even if the person is old or a youth.

The End

David Madrid

Contact: David Madrid

“In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, … in that I learn from him.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Philosopher, Poet, Essayist

May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882