Self-Esteem

By Mary Boyle

Illustration for the fable Self-Esteem by Mary Boyle

“Well to be sure, what a Lovely creature I Am,” exclaimed a Stag, as he stooped down to Drink of a Crystal Stream which Flowed at his feet. “What ears, and ah! what Beautiful eyes. They are darker, they are larger, than Any of the Herd, and there’s nobody, nobody to admire Them.”

He sighed, then took a Step Forward, and one or two steps Backward, threw his head a little to One Side, and Sniffed the Air in a Very supercilious fashion. “I wish I could go to a Show,” he said. “I’m better worth Looking at than the White Bull, or that Old fat Pig, and they Took the First Prizes at a show lately. But there’s no Accounting for taste. And what that pig does Consume to be sure! By the way, I feel Very hungry—yes, I’ve a Silent Sorrow, most decidedly. It really Must be supper time. Hi! you fellows,” he called Out to two of his Companions who were hurrying helter-skelter Past him, “Isn’t it Feeding time?”

“Feeding Time,” returned his Messmate with surprise, “my good fellow, we had our Supper an hour ago. Did not you Hear the bugle Call?”

“Never a note.”

“Are you Dull of Hearing?”

The Stag shook his head.

“What were you Doing then?”

The Stag blushed.

“Ah!” said his Companion, “admiring yourself As Usual—you see we know your Failing, but, my friend, you won’t Grow Fat on that sort of Diet—good night.”

Moral.

Now should you be pretty,
Most people have eyes,
So do not proclaim it,
For that is unwise.

From Æsop Redivivus, by Mary Boyle.
London, New York, 1890.

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