Saturday 21 February 2015

'The Dog and the Crocodile'

'The Dog and the Crocodile', an illustration by John Vernon Lord 
in Aesop's Fables; 1989, page 92.

The Text:

The Dog and the Crocodile
Who give bad precepts to the wise,
And cautious men with guile advise,
Not only lose their toil and time,
But slip into sarcastic rhyme.

The dogs that are about the Nile,
Through terror of the Crocodile,
Are therefore said to drink and run.
It happen’d on a day, that one,
As scamp’ring by the river side,
Was by the Crocodile espied:
“Sir, at your leisure drink, nor fear
The least design or treach’ry here.”
“That,” says the Dog, “ma’m, would I do
With all my heart, and thank you too,
But as you can on dog’s flesh dine,
You shall not taste a bit of mind.”

Moral: It is a waste of time to give bad advice to the wary.

Text: Christopher Smart (Phaedrus 1/25, 1761).

Selected Parallels: Perry 482. TMI K2061.8.

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