'The Fox and the Dragon', an illustration by John Vernon Lord
in Aesop's Fables; 1989, page 76.
The Fox and the Dragon
AS a Fox was Earthing Himself, he Digg’d so Deep, ’till at last he came to a Dragon’s Den, where he found a prodigious Mass of Hidden Treasure. He made his Excuse for his Intrusion, and begg’d the Dragon’s leave but to Ask him One Question. Pray (says he) where’s the Pleasure or the Profit of Spending all your Days in a Hole thus, without either Light or Sleep? Why, ’tis my Fate, says the Dragon, and there’s no more to be said. Here’s a Monstrous Hord, says the Fox. and I cannot find that you either Give or Use One Penny out of all this Store. ’Tis a Misery, says the other, that I am Doom’d to, and there’s no Avoiding it. Why then says the Fox, He that’s Born under Your Stars is certainly the most Wretched of Creatures.
Moral: The miser who accumulates treasures for the sake of it , without making use of it, is doomed to misery.
Text: Roger L’Estrange (1/475, 1692).
Selected Parallels: Phaedrus 4/21. Perry 518. TMI B11.6.2.