2018-01-15

Aesop: The Fox and the Stork

Yesterday's fable featured the wolf and the long-beaked bird, which might be a stork or a crane or a heron... the beak is the thing! There's another famous Aesop's fable about a bird with a beak, usually a crane or stork, who outsmarts the fox, whose obviously does not have a long beak like a bird!

I've collected many English versions and illustrations of the fox and the long-beaked bird, and I especially like this short-and-sweet English translation of the Latin fable by the Roman poet Phaedrus:

THE FOX AND THE STORK

Harm should be done to no man; but if anyone do an injury, this Fable shows that he may be visited with a like return.

A Fox is said to have given a Stork the first invitation to a banquet, and to have placed before her some thin broth in a flat dish, of which the hungry Stork could in no way get a taste.

Having invited the Fox in return, she set before him a narrow-mouthed jar, full of minced meat: and, thrusting her beak into it, satisfied herself, while she tormented her guest with hunger; who, after having in vain licked the neck of the jar, as we have heard, thus addressed the foreign bird:

“Everyone is bound to bear patiently the results of his own example.” 

Here are two illustrations that show both phases of the story; one by Walter Crane and one by Charles Robinson:


No comments:

Post a Comment

To prevent spam, I have limited comments to Google accounts. You can also contact me at Twitter @OnlineMythIndia or by email: laura-gibbs@ou.edu.