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Aesop’s Fables, Lesson 11. The Stag in the Ox-stall

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A Stag, hard pressed by the hounds, ran for shelter into an ox-stall, the door of which was open. One of the Oxen turned round, and asked him why he came to such a place as that, where he would be sure to be taken. The Stag replied that he should do well enough if the Oxen would not tell of him, and, covering himself in a heap of straw, waited for the night. Several servants, and even the Farm-Bailiff himself, came and looked round, but saw nothing of the Stag, who, as each went away, was ready to jump out of his skin for joy, and warmly thanked the Oxen for their silence. The Ox who had spoken first to him warned him not to be too sure of his escape, and said that glad as they would all be for him to get away, there was a certain person still to come whose eyes were a deal sharper than the eyes of any one who had been there yet. This was the Master himself, who, having been dining-with a neighbour, looked in on his way home to see that all was right. At a glance he saw the tips of the horns coming through the straw, whereupon he raised a hue and cry, called all his people together, and made a prize of the Stag.


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