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Fable Aesop (620 BC - 560 BC)
The Dancing Monkeys

A Prince had some Monkeys trained to dance. Being naturally
great mimics of men's actions, they showed themselves most
apt pupils, and when arrayed in their rich clothes and masks,
they danced as well as any of the courtiers. The spectacle
was often repeated with great applause, till on one occasion
a courtier, bent on mischief, took from his pocket a handful of
nuts and threw them upon the stage. The Monkeys at the sight
of the nuts forgot their dancing and became (as indeed they were)
Monkeys instead of actors. Pulling off their masks and tearing their
robes, they fought with one another for the nuts. The dancing
spectacle thus came to an end amidst the laughter and ridicule
of the audience.

(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)


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