Aesop's Fables (1884)
69. The Fisherman and the Little Fish
A Fisherman who lived on the produce of his nets, one day caught a single small fish as the result of his day's labor. The fish, panting convulsively, thus entreated for his life: "O Sir, what good can I be to you, and how little am I worth! I am not yet come to my full size. Pray spare my life, and put me back into the sea. I shall soon become a large fish, fit for the tables of the rich; and then you can catch me again, and make a handsome profit of me." The fisherman replied: "I should be a very simple fellow, if I were to forego my certain gain for an uncertain profit."
Aesop's Fables: A New Revised Version From Original Sources (translator not identified), 1884 . Illustrations by Ernest Henry Griset (1844-1907), John Tenniel (1820-1914) and Harrison Weir (1824-1906). Available online at Project Gutenberg.