Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Phaedrus - 41 AD

Translated into English
  by C. Smart - 1887

Source: The Fables of Phaedrus

Original title (Latin):
Asinus et Porcelli Hordeum

Country of origin: Italy


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The Man and the Ass

Phaedrus / C. Smart

A certain Man, when he had made
A sacrifice, for special aid
To Hercules, and killed a swine,
Did for his Ass's share assign
All the remainder of the corn;
But he, rejecting it with scorn,
Thus said: "I gladly would partake-
But apprehend that life's at stake;
For he you fatted up and fed
With store of this, is stuck and dead."
Struck with the import of this tale,
I have succeeded to prevail
Upon my passions, and abstain,
From peril of immod'rate gain.
But, you will say, those that have come
Unjustly by a handsome sum,
Upon the pillage still subsist-
Why, if we reckon up the list,
You'll find by far the major part
Have been conducted in the cart:
Temerity for some may do,
But many more their rashness rue.