Lions and Lobsters and Foxes and Frogs: Fables from Aesop

Lions and Lobsters and Foxes and Frogs: Fables from Aesop


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A new approach to the ancient fables of Aesop features charming rhymes and winsome images by a beloved illustrator. Artist Edward Gorey sets the scenes for poet Ennis Rees's modern interpretation of Aesop's verses, which recount how animals with all-too-human failings receive their just desserts.
Memorable renderings of familiar and lesser-known vignettes include the fable of the industrious ant, who prepares for the hardships of the coming winter, and the feckless grasshopper, whose laziness proves fatal. A mighty lion is amused at the notion of a tiny mouse coming to his rescue, a naïve young crustacean admires the bright red shell of a boiled lobster, and a swarm of flies are undone by their attraction to a pool of spilled honey. These and other timeless tales provide humorous insights into the folly of greed and vanity and the rewards of virtuous behavior.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486820170
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 02/15/2018
Pages: 48
Sales rank: 1,083,051
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 7 - 12 Years

About the Author

American poet and professor Ennis Rees (1925–2009) was the author and translator of many books for adults and children. He also served a one-year term as South Carolina's Poet Laureate in 1984. These fables are from his 1966 book, Fables from Aesop.
American author and artist Edward Gorey (1925–2000) combined whimsy and dark humor in such illustrated books as The Doubtful Guest, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, and four Amphigorey anthologies. His distinctive style, featuring characters in Victorian dress in surrealistic settings, achieved wide recognition with his opening-sequence animation for the PBS Mystery! series.

Read an Excerpt



A donkey loaded with salt Was going across a river, When, thought it wasn't her fault, She slipped and fell in, all aquiver. But soon the salt melted, and she Went on with a much lighter load, At which she was pleased as could be As she ambled on down the road.

The next day when she came to the stream She was loaded up high with sponges, But now she had started to dream Of taking one of those plunges That lighten the loads of a donkey. So acting worse than a monkey, She gave about two little lunges And then a big one of those plunges And purposely fell in the river, For which we will have to forgive her.

Again she was all aquiver, Since this particular donkey Was more than a little bit chunky. But instead of salt it was sponges She had on her back, and quickly They made the poor donkey feel sickly, Because they filled up with water! Too late, then, a lesson they taught her. She wished she had never got 'em As slowly she sank to the bottom, And when she crawled up on the shore Her load was much worse than before.



Mrs. Wolf did lots of bragging About all the children she had, And sometimes it sounded like nagging And sometimes it wasn't so bad.

But one day a lioness came Who had just one little cub, And Mrs. Wolf called by name All her children, to give them a rub.

Then she said to the lioness: "See How many nice children are mine. Here are Willy, Milly, and Lee, All washed and fed and fine,

And this one I call Guy And this one's name is Brian.

"I see," said the lioness, "I Have only one — but a LION!"



A thirsty dog by the river Nile Was so afraid that a crocodile Would come up and catch him as he drank That he wouldn't stop and drink from the bank And so could do nothing better than To run along and lap as he ran. Then a crocodile, eager for slaughter, Raised his head above the water And called to the dog: I say, what s the hurry? I'd very much like to meet you, very! And I feel sure I would like you a lot. So turn around and slow down to a trot And come on back here to chat awhile, And then, if you wish, you can run a mile." "You honor me greatly," the dog shouted back. "But you, I suspect, are in need of a snack, And so indeed you'd like me — to chew! But that would hardly make me like you. In fact, the reason I drink as I flee Is just to avoid your company."



A young rat out looking for something to do, Especially something exciting and new, Ran into a frog on the bank of a pond. Said the frog, "You know I'm exceedingly fond Of rats. Come down in the pond on a visit. I'll show you some things that are really exquisite." Now the heat that day was furious And the rat very young and curious. He thought a dip in the pond would be swell, But warned the frog that he couldn't swim well. "No matter at all," was the frog's reply. "Just come here close and let me tie Your ankle to mine with a piece of this grass, And since I can swim as well as a bass, I'll tow you along and help you swim." Well this seemed an excellent plant to him, So the rat came close and got himself tied And in they plunged, side by side. Very soon the rat had enough and more And he begged the frog to take him to shore, But the treacherous frog just looked all around, Then pulled the rat under until he drowned. And next he began to auntie the grass That held him to the dead rat, when alas, Before he could get the grass untied, Though frantically the cruel frog tried, Along came a hawk, who could hardly help gloating When he looked down and saw the rat floating. So swooping he caught him up in his talons, The rat and the frog, both dripping gallons, For that hawk had caught both seafood and meat And all because of the frog's deceit.


Excerpted from "Lions and Lobsters and Foxes and Frogs"
by .
Copyright © 1966 Ennis Rees.
Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

The Donkey That Fell in the River,
The Wolf and the Lioness,
The Dog and the Crocodile,
The Frog and the Rat,
The Impatient Fox,
The Snake's Tail,
The Fox and the Partridge,
The Ant and the Grasshopper,
The Dog and the Lion,
The Conceited Frog,
The Lion and the Mouse,
The Mother Lobster and Her Daughter,
The Rat and the Cats,
The Flies and the Honey,
The Donkey, the Fox, and the Lion,
The Thoroughbred and the Mongrels,
The Frogs Who Wanted a King,

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