Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)
167. AN APE AND A DOLPHIN (Perry 73)
People were us’d in the Days of Old, to carry Gamesome Puppies and Apes
with ‘em out to Sea, to pass away the Time withal. Now there was One of
these Apes, it seems, aboard a Vessel that was cast away in a very great
Storm. As the Men were Padling for their Lives, and an Ape for Company,
a certain Dolphin that took him for a Man, got him upon his Back, and
was making towards Land with him. He had him into a safe Road call’d the
Pyraeus, and took occasion to ask the Ape whether he was an Athenian or
not? He told him Yes, and of a very Ancient Family there. Why then (says
the Dolphin) you know Pyraeus: Oh! Exceedingly well, says t’other (taking
it for the Name of a Man). Why Pyraeus is my particular good Friend. The
Dolphin upon this, had such an Indignation for the Impudence of the Buffoon-Ape,
that he gave him the Slip from between his Legs, and there was an end
of my very good Friend, the Athenian.
THE MORAL. Bragging, Lying, and Pretending, has Cost many a Man his
Life and Estate.
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.