The Crab and the Fox

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


A Fox that was sharp-set, Surpriz’d a Crab, as he lay out of the Sea upon the Sands, and carried him away. The Crab, when he found that he was to be Eaten, Well (says he) this comes of Meddling where we have Nothing to do; for my Bus’ness lay at Sea, not upon the Land.

THE MORAL. No Body Pities a Man for any Misfortune that Befals him, in Matters out of his Way, Bus’ness, or Calling.

Townsend's translation (1887)[edit]

The Crab and the Fox

A Crab, forsaking the seashore, chose a neighboring green meadow as its feeding ground. A Fox came across him, and being very hungry ate him up. Just as he was on the point of being eaten, the Crab said, "I well deserve my fate, for what business had I on the land, when by my nature and habits I am only adapted for the sea?"

Contentment with our lot is an element of happiness.