Aesop's Fables (Joseph Jacobs)
Jacobs 6. The Man and the Serpent (Perry
A Countryman's son by accident trod upon a Serpent's tail, which turned
and bit him so that he died. The father in a rage got his axe, and pursuing
the Serpent, cut off part of its tail. So the Serpent in revenge began
stinging several of the Farmer's cattle and caused him severe loss. Well,
the Farmer thought it best to make it up with the Serpent, and brought
food and honey to the mouth of its lair, and said to it: "Let's forget
and forgive; perhaps you were right to punish my son, and take vengeance
on my cattle, but surely I was right in trying to revenge him; now that
we are both satisfied why should not we be friends again?"
"No, no," said the Serpent; "take away your gifts; you
can never forget the death of your son, nor I the loss of my tail."
Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten.
Fables of Aesop, by Joseph Jacobs with illustrations by
Richard Heighway (1894). The page images come from Google
Books. The digitized text comes from Project
Gutenberg. You can purchase this inexpensive Dover edition, The
Fables of Aesop by Joseph Jacobs from amazon.com.