'Two Travellers and the Axe', an illustration by John Vernon Lord
in Aesop's Fables, Jonathan Cape, 1989, page 95.
The Two Travellers and the Axe
TWO MEN were journeying together in each other’s company. One of them picked up an axe that lay upon the path, and said, “I have found an axe.” “Nay, my friend,” replied the other, “do not say ‘I,’ but ‘We’ have found an axe.” They had not gone far before they saw the owner of the axe pursuing them, and he who had picked up the axe said, “We are undone.” “Nay,” replied the other, “keep to your first mode of speech, my friend; what you thought right then, think right now. Say ‘I,’ not ‘We’ are undone.”
Moral: Real friends are those who share things in good and bad times.
Text: George Fyler Townsend (p84, 1868).
Selected parallels: L’Estrange 1/164. Chambry 256. Perry 67.