Three Hundred Æsop's Fables/The Old Woman and the Physician
THE OLD WOMAN AND THE PHYSICIAN.
An old woman having lost the use of her eyes, called in a Physician to heal them, and made this bargain with him in the presence of witnesses: that if he should cure her blindness, he should receive from her a sum of money; but if her infirmity remained, she should give him nothing. This agreement being entered into, the Physician, time after time, applied his salve to her eyes, and on every visit taking something away, stole by little and little all her property: and when he had got all she had, he healed her, and demanded the promised payment. The old woman, when she recovered her sight and saw none of her goods in her house, would give him nothing. The Physician insisted on his claim, and, as she still refused, summoned her before the Archons. The old woman standing up in the Court thus spoke:—"This man here speaks the truth in what he says; for I did promise to give him a sum of money, if I should recover my sight: but if I continued blind, I was to give him nothing. Now he declares 'that I am healed' I on the contrary affirm 'that I am still blind;' for when I lost the use of my eyes, I saw in my house various chattels and valuable goods: but now, though he swears I am cured of my blindness, I am not able to see a single thing in it."