The wolf and the lamb
Once upon a time a Wolf was lapping1 at a spring on a hillside, when, looking up, what should he see but a Lamb just beginning to drink a little lower down. "There’s my supper," thought he, "if only I can find some excuse to seize it." Then he called out to the Lamb, "How dare you muddy2 the water from which I am drinking?"
"Nay, master, nay," said Lambkin, "if the water be muddy up there, I cannot be the cause of it, for it runs down from you to me."
"Well, then," said the Wolf, "why did you call me bad names this time last year?"
"That cannot be," said the Lamb, "I am only six months old."
"I don’t care," snarled3 the Wolf; "if it was not you it was your father;" and with that he rushed upon the poor little Lamb and ate her all up. But before she died she gasped4 out, "Any excuse will serve a tyrant5."
- if an animal laps water, milk etc, it drinks it by putting its tongue into it
- to make something dirty with mud
- make a low angry sound and shows its teeth
- to breathe quickly in a way that can be heard, especially because you are surprised or in pain
- a ruler who has complete power and uses it in a cruel and unfair way