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Fairy Stories and Fables by  James Baldwin
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THE DEER

[18] ONE warm day a Deer went down to a brook to get a drink. The stream was smooth and clear, and he could see himself in the water. He looked at his horns and was very proud of them, for they were large and long and had many branches. But when he saw his feet he was ashamed to own them, they were so slim and small.

While he stood knee-deep in the water, and was thinking only of his fine horns, a Lion saw him and came leaping out from the tall grass to get him. The Deer would have been caught at once if he had not jumped quickly out of the brook. He ran as fast as he could, and his feet were so light and swift that he soon left the Lion far behind. But by and by he had to pass through [19] some woods, and, as he was running, his horns were caught in some vines that grew among the trees. Before he could get loose the Lion was upon him.


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"Ah me!" cried the Deer. "The things which pleased me most will now cause my death; while the things which I thought so mean and poor would have carried me safe out of danger."


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