The Boy Hunting Locusts

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L'Estrange's translation (1692)[edit]


A Boy was groping for Eels, and laid his hand upon a Snake, but the Snake, finding that it was pure Simplicity, and not Malice, admonish’d him of his Mistake: Keep your self well while you are well, says the Snake; for if you meddle with me, you’ll repent your Bargain.

THE MORAL. ‘Tis the Intention, morally speaking, that makes the Action good or bad; and even Brutes themselves, will put a Difference betwixt Harms of Ill-Will and Mischance.

Townsend's translation (1887)[edit]

The Boy Hunting Locusts

A boy was hunting for locusts. He had caught a goodly number, when he saw a Scorpion, and mistaking him for a locust, reached out his hand to take him. The Scorpion, showing his sting, said: "If you had but touched me, my friend, you would have lost me, and all your locusts too!"

Moral: Carelessness has consequences.