Gateway to the Classics: Fairy Stories and Fables by James Baldwin
Fairy Stories and Fables by  James Baldwin

The Wolf and the Lamb

One day a Lamb went down to the brook to get a drink. A Wolf saw him and wanted to quarrel with him so as to have a good excuse for eating him up. While the Lamb was drinking, he went and stood by the brook, a little farther up, and cried out:—

"See here, you Lamb! How do you dare to muddy the water that I am about to drink?"


"How can I muddy it?" said the Lamb. "You are higher up the stream than I am, and the water runs away from you, towards me."

"Well, you called me names last summer," said the Wolf, "and now I am going to punish you for it."

"Last summer?" said the Lamb. "That was before I was born, and how could I call you names?"

"At any rate," said the Wolf, "you are trying to make out that I am a fool; and I won't stand that, from you or anybody else." And with that he seized the Lamb and ate him up.

It is so with some men and children. When they have made up their minds to do wrong, they are sure to find some sort of excuse for it.

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