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Aesop's Fables by  J. H. Stickney

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THE SQUIRREL IN SERVICE

A
SQUIRREL once served a Lion—I know not where or in what capacity. But this much is certain—the Squirrel found favor in the Lionís eyes, and to satisfy the Lion is certainly no light affair.

In return for this he was promised a whole wagonload of nuts.

[210] Promised—yes; but meanwhile time continues to fly by. The Squirrel often suffers hunger and, while grinning in his masterís presence, has eyes full of tears.

When he looks around in the forest, his former comrades show themselves here and there, high up among the trees. He looks at them till his eyes begin to blink, but they keep on cracking nuts.

The Squirrel takes a look at them—he can do no more. At one time he is called away; at another, even dragged off in the Lionís service.

But see! At last the Squirrel has grown old and become tiresome to the Lion. It is time for him to retire. They have granted the Squirrel his discharge, and they have actually given him the full load of nuts—excellent nuts, such as [211] the world has never seen before; all picked fruit, one as good as another, a perfect marvel. Only one thing is unlucky—the Squirrel has long ago lost all his teeth.


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