Fables of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists/Fable CCIII

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3937304Fables of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists — Fable CCIII: An Ant and a PigeonRoger L'Estrange


An Ant and a Pigeon.

AN Ant drop Unluckily into the Water as she was Drinking at the Side of a Brook. A Wood-Pigeon took Pity of her, and threw her a little Bough to lay hold on. The Ant sav'd her self by that Bough, and in That very Instant, spies a Fellow with a Birding-Piece, making a Shoot at The Pigeon. Upon This Discovery, she presently runs up to him and Stings him. The Fowler starts, and breaks his Aim, and away flies the Pigeon.


All Creatures have a Sense of Good offices, and Providence it self takes Care, where Other Means fail, that they may not Pass Unrewarded.


THE Practice of Requiting Good Offices is a Great Encouragement to the Doing of them; and in truth, without Gratitude there would be Little Good Nature; for ther is not One Good Man in the World that has not need of Another. This Fable of the Ant is not All-together a Fiction, for we have many Instances of the Force of Kindness; even upon Animals and Insects: To pass over the Tradition of Androdus's Lyon, the Gratitude of Elephants, Dogs and Horses is too Notorious to be Deny'd. Are not Hawks brought to the Hand, and to the Lure? And in like manner, are not Lyons, Tygers, Bears, Wolves, Foxes, and other Beasts of Prey Reclaim'd by Good Usage? Nay, I have seen a Tame Spider, and 'tis a Common Thing to have a Lizzard come to Hand. Man only is the Creature, that to his Shame, no Benefits can Oblige, no nor Secure, even from seeking the Ruine of his Benefactor: So that This Pismire sets us a Lesson here in her Thankfulness to her Preserver.