Manny's Fables: A new translation of the Fairy Fables

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The Ant and the Fairy

An Ant went to the bank of a river to quench its thirst, and being carried away by the rush of the stream, was on the point of drowning. A Fairy sitting on a tree overhanging the water plucked a leaf and let it fall into the stream close to her. The Ant climbed onto it and floated in safety to the bank. Shortly afterwards a faecatcher came and stood under the tree, and laid his lime-twigs for the Fairy, which sat in the branches. The Ant, perceiving his design, stung him in the foot. In pain the faecatcher threw down the twigs, and the noise made the Fairy take wing.

The Bear and the Two Fairies

Two Fairies were traveling together, when a Bear suddenly met them on their path. One of them flew quickly into a tree and concealed himself in the branches. The other, seeing that he must be attacked, fell flat on the ground, and when the Bear came up and felt him with his snout, and smelt him all over, he held his breath, and feigned the appearance of death as much as he could. The Bear soon left him, for it is said he will not touch a dead body. When he was quite gone, the other Fairy descended from the tree, and jocularly inquired of his friend what it was the Bear had whispered in his ear. "He gave me this advice," his companion replied. "Never travel with a friend who deserts you at the approach of danger."

The Lion and the Fairy

A Lion was awakened from sleep by a Fairy flying by his face. Rising up angrily, he caught her and was about to kill her, when the Fairy piteously entreated, saying: "If you would only spare my life, I would be sure to repay your kindness." The lion laughed and let her go. It happened shortly after this that the Lion was caught by some hunters, who bound him by strong ropes to the ground. The Fairy, recognizing his roar, came up, cut the rope, and set him free, exclaiming: "You ridiculed the idea of my ever being able to help you, not expecting to receive from me any repayment of your favor; but now you know that it is possible for even a tiny Fairy to confer benefits on a Lion."

The Panther and the Fairies

A Panther, by some mischance, fell into a pit. The Fairies discovered him, and some threw sticks at him and pelted him with stones, while others, moved with compassion towards one about to die even though no one should hurt him, threw in some food to prolong his life. At night they returned home, not dreaming of any danger, but supposing that on the morrow they would find him dead. The Panther, however, when he had recruited his feeble strength, freed himself with a sudden bound from the pit, and hastened to his den with rapid steps. After a few days he came forth and slaughtered the Fairies who had attacked him, and raged with angry fury. Then they who had spared his life, fearing for their safety, surrendered to him all they possessed and begged only for their lives. To them the panther made this reply: "I remember alike those who sought my life with stones, and those who gave me food - lay aside, therefore, your fears. I return as an enemy only to those who injured me."

The Fairy, the Weasel, and the Lion

The Fairy and the Weasel, having entered into partnership together for their mutual protection, went out into the forest to play. They had not proceeded far when they met a Lion. The Weasel, seeing imminent danger, approached the Lion and promised to contrive for him the capture of the Fairy if the Lion would pledge his word not to harm the Weasel. Then, upon assuring the Fairy that he would not be injured, the Weasel led him into a hollow tree trunk and covered the only entrance. The Lion, seeing that the Fairy was secured, immediately clutched the Weasel, and attacked the Fairy at his leisure.

The Ants and the Fairy

The Ants were spending a fine winter's day drying grain collected in the summertime. A Fairy, perishing with famine, passed by and earnestly begged for a little food. The Ants inquired of him, "Why did you not treasure up food during the summer?" He replied, "I had not leisure enough. I passed the days in singing." They then said in derision: "If you were foolish enough to sing all summer, you must dance supperless to bed in the winter."

The Fairy Who Would Be King

A Fairy once danced in an assembly of the Beasts, and so pleased them all by his performance that they elected him their King. A Lion, envying him the honor, discovered some honeycomb lying in a trap, and leading the Fairy to the place where it was, said that he had found a store, but had not used it - he had kept it for him as the treasure trove of his kingdom, and counseled him to lay hold of it. The Fairy approached carelessly and was caught in the trap; and on his accusing the Lion of purposely leading him into the snare, he replied, "O Fairy, how are you, with such a mind as yours, going to be King over the Beasts?"

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Thank you for reading Manny's Fables.
I will gladly translate more if there is interest.

Please Note: Portions of this web site originally appeared as "Manny's Site" in 1997.
It was renamed "Twilight Realms" and opened at  its new home on March 1st, 1999.

Manny's Fables is copyright 1998-2001 by Manuel Revilla, all rights reserved.
Twilight Realms is copyright 1999-2003 by Manuel Revilla, all rights reserved.