Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Belly and the Members

At the end of The Junior Classics Volume I (Fairy and Wonder Tales), fifteen pages are devoted to a collection of Aesop's Fables. Most of us will have learned lessons from  'The Tortoise and the Hare', 'The Fox and the Grapes', and 'The Ant and the Grasshopper'. Here is what the introduction has to say about the stories and a little gem that I found among them - a bit of an anatomy lesson.

Aesop's Fables has come to be the commonly accepted name for the well-known collection of stories about animals, though we cannot be sure that any of them were written by the Greek slave of that name, who, Herodotus tells us, lived about the year 550 B.C. The fable about animals is probably the oldest form of story known. Its object is to teach a lesson to men and women, without seeming to do so, and because of this concealed lesson it has always been a great favorite with all nations.

The Belly and The Members

One fine day it occurred to the Members of the Body that they were doing all the work and the Belly was having all the food. So they held a meeting, and after a long discussion, decided to strike work till the Belly consented to take its proper share of the work. So for a day or two the Hands refused to take the food, the Mouth refused to receive it, and the Teeth had no work to do. But after a day or two the Members began to find that they themselves were not in a very active condition; the Hands could hardly move, and the Mouth was all parched and dry, while the Legs were unable to support the rest. So thus they found that even the Belly in its dull quiet way was doing necessary work for the Body, and that all must work together or the Body will go to pieces.

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