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Aesop's Fables: Caxton (1484)

4.7. Of the fawkoner and of the byrdes
(Perry 576)

The wyse ought euer to kepe and obserue the good counceyll / And in no wyse they ought not to doo the contrarye / As reherceth to vs this fable / Of the byrdes whiche were Ioyeful and gladde / as the prymtemps came / by cause that theyr nestes were thenne al couerd with leues / And Incontynent they beheld and sawe a fawkoner whiche dressyd and leyd his laces and nettes for to take them / And thenne they sayd al to gyder / yonder man hath pyte of vs / For whanne he beholdeth vs he wepeth / And thenne the pertryche / whiche had experymented and assayed all the deceytes of the sayd Fawkoner / sayd to them / kepe yow alle wel fro that sayd man and flee hyghe in to the ayer / For he seketh nothynge / but the manere for to take yow / For yf he toke yow / he shalle ete and deuoure yow / or to the markette he shalle bere yow for to be sold / And they that byleuyd his counceylle were saued / And they that byleuyd it not were taken and lost /
And therfore they whiche byleue good counceylle are delyuerd oute of theyr peryls / And they whiche byleue it not ben euer in grete daunger

Caxton published his edition of Aesop's fables in 1484. There are modern reprints by Joseph Jacobs (D. Nutt: London, 1889) and more recently by Robert Lenaghan (Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1967). Lenaghan's edition is available at amazon.com.