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Aesop's Fables by  J. H. Stickney




CCORDING to an old legend, the first man was made by Jupiter, the first bull by Neptune, and the first house by Minerva.

On the completion of their labors, a dispute arose as to which had made the most perfect work.

[182] They agreed to rest the decision with Momus, a judge, and to abide by his word.

Momus, however, being very envious of the handicraft of each, found fault in turn with all.

He criticized the work of Neptune because he had not made the horns of the bull below the eyes, that the animal might better see where to strike.

He condemned the work of Jupiter because he had not placed the heart of man on the outside, so that every one might read the thoughts of the evil-disposed and take precautions against intended mischief.

And last of all, he inveighed against Minerva, not because of any fault in the house itself but because she had not contrived iron wheels in its foundation, so that its inhabitants might more [183] Easily remove if a neighbor proved unpleasant.

Indignant at such inveterate fault-finding, Jupiter drove Momus from his office as judge and expelled him from the mansions of Olympus.

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