Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)
131. A BOY AND A SNAKE (Perry 199)
A Boy was groping for Eels, and laid his hand upon a Snake, but the Snake,
finding that it was pure Simplicity, and not Malice, admonish’d him of
his Mistake: Keep your self well while you are well, says the Snake; for
if you meddle with me, you’ll repent your Bargain.
THE MORAL. ‘Tis the Intention, morally speaking, that makes the Action
good or bad; and even Brutes themselves, will put a Difference betwixt
Harms of Ill-Will and Mischance.
L'Estrange originally published his version of the fables in 1692. There is a
very nice illustrated edition in the Children's Classics series by Knopf: Sir
Roger L'Estrange. Aesop
- Fables which is available at amazon.com.