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Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)

158. A SWAN AND A GOOSE (Perry 399)

The Master of a House brought up a Swan and a Goose both together; the One for his Ear, and the Other for his Belly. He gave Orders for the Goose to be taken up and Dress’d for Dinner. But the Place was so Dark, that the Cook took One for T’other. This Mistake had Cost the Swan her Life, if she had not Sung in that very Instant, and discover’d her self; by which Means she both sav’d her Life and Express’d her Nature.
THE MORAL. A Man cannot be too Careful of what he does, where the Life of any Creature is in Question.

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.