Wednesday 7 January 2015

'The Eagle and Jackdaw'

'The Eagle and Jackdaw', an illustration by John Vernon Lord 
in Aesop's Fables, Jonathan Cape, 1989, page 87.

The text:

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 Diversion.

Moral:  Those who try to match the powerful will usually overreach themselves and  get teased for their efforts.

Text: Samuel Croxall (134, 1722).

Selected parallels: Babrius 137. Aristophanes Aves 652. Caxton Remicius 1. La Fontaine 2/16. L’Estrange 1/72. Chambry 5. Perry 2. TMI J2413.3.

note: Croxall's crow has been substituted for a Jackdaw.

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