The Ant and the Dove

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The Ant and the Dove
by Aesop

Caxton's translation (1484)[edit]

Of the ante and of the columbe

None ought / to be slowful of the good whiche he receyueth of other / As reherceth this fable of an Ante / whiche came to a fontayne for to drynke / and as she wold haue dronke she felle within the fontayn / vpon the whiche was a columbe or douue / whiche seyng that the Ante shold haue ben drowned withoute helpe / took a braunche of a tree / &a cast it to her for to saue her self / And the Ante wente anone vpon the braunche and saued her / And anone after came a Fawkoner / whiche wold haue take the douue / And thenne the Ante whiche sawe that the Fawkoner dressyd his nettes came to his foote / and soo fast pryked hit / that she caused hym to smyte the erthe with his foote / and therwith made soo grete noyse / that the douue herd hit / wherfore she flewhe aweye or the gynne and nettes were al sette

And therfore none ought to forgete the benyfyce whiche he hath receyued of some other / for slowfulnesse is a grete synne

Townsend's translation (1887)[edit]

The Ant and the Dove

An Ant went to the bank of a river to quench its thirst, and being carried away by the rush of the stream, was on the point of drowning. A Dove sitting on a tree overhanging the water plucked a leaf and let it fall into the stream close to her. The Ant climbed onto it and floated in safety to the bank. Shortly afterwards a birdcatcher came and stood under the tree, and laid his lime-twigs for the Dove, which sat in the branches. The Ant, perceiving his design, stung him in the foot. In pain the birdcatcher threw down the twigs, and the noise made the Dove take wing.