'The Eagle and Jackdaw', an illustration by John Vernon Lord
in Aesop's Fables, Jonathan Cape, 1989, page 87.
The Eagle and the Jackdaw
An eagle flew down from the top of
a high Rock and settled upon the Back of a Lamb; and then instantly flying up
into the Air again, bore his bleating Prize aloft in his Pounces. A Jackdaw, who
sate upon an Elm, and beheld this Exploit, resolv’d to imitate it; so flying
down upon the back of a Ram and intangling his Claws in the Wool, he fell a
chattering and attempting to fly; By which means he drew the Observation of the
Shepherd upon him, who finding his Feet hamper’d in the Fleece of the Ram,
easily made a Prey of him, and gave them to his Boys for their Sport and
Moral:Those who try to match the powerful will
usually overreach themselves andget
teased for their efforts.
'The Kid and the Wolf' an illustration by John Vernon Lord in Aesop's Fables,
Jonathan Cape, 1984, page 6.
The Kid on the Roof of a House and
A KID standing
on the roof of a house, out of harm's way, saw a Wolf passing by: and
immediately began to taunt and revile him. The Wolf, looking up, said: “Sirrah!
I hear thee: yet it is not thou who
mockest me, but the roof on which thou art standing."
advantage of time and place often emboldens the weak to defy the strong.
Text: George Fyler Townsend (p47, 1868).
Selected parallels: Babrius 96. Chambry 106.
Perry 98. TMI J974.
'The Stag at the Pond', an illustration by John Vernon Lord in Aesop's Fables,
Jonathan Cape, 1984, page 72.
A Stag that had been
drinking at a clear Spring, saw himself in the Water; and pleas’d with the
Prospect, stood afterwards for some Time contemplating and surveying his Shape
and Features, from Head to Foot. Ah! says he, what a glorious pair of branching
horns are there! How gracefully do those Antlers hang over my Forehead , and
give an agreeable Turn to my whole Face! If some other Parts of my Body were
but proportionable to them, I’d turn my back to no body; but I’ve a Sett of
such Legs as really make me asham’d to see them. People may talk what they may
please of their Conveniences, and what great Need we stand in of them upon
several Occasions; but, for my Part, I find them so very slender, and
unsightly, that I had e’en as lief have none at all. While he was giving
himself these Airs, he was alarm’d with the noise of some Huntsmen, and a Pack
of Dogs, that had been just laid on upon the Scent, and were making towards
him. Away he flies in some Consternation, and, bound nimbly over the Plain;
threw Dogs and Men at a vast Distance behind him. After which, taking a very
thick Copse, he had the ill Fortune to be entangled by his Horns in a Thicket;
where he was held fast, till the Hounds came in and pull’d him down. Finding
now, how it was like to be with him, in the Pangs of Death, he is said to have
utter’d these Words: Unhappy creature that I am! I am too late convinc’d, that,
what I prided myself so much in, has been the Cause of my Undoing; and what I
so much despis’d, was the only Thing that could have sav’d me.
Moral: Look to what is
useful before the ornamental, for what is valuable is too often underrated.