The Crow and the Serpent

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


As a Snake lay Lazing at his Length, in the Gleam of the Sun, a Raven took him up, and flew away with him. The Snake kept a Twisting and a Turning, till he Bit the Raven, and made him Curse himself for being such a Fool, as to meddle with a Purchase that Cost him his Life.

THE MORAL. Nature has made All the Necessaries of Life, Safe and Easie to us, but if we will be Hankering after Things that we neither Want nor Understand, we must take our Fortune, even if Death it self should happen to be in the Case.

Townsend's translation (1887)[edit]

The Crow and the Serpent

A Crow in great want of food saw a Serpent asleep in a sunny nook, and flying down, greedily seized him. The Serpent, turning about, bit the Crow with a mortal wound. In the agony of death, the bird exclaimed: "O unhappy me! who have found in that which I deemed a happy windfall the source of my destruction."