Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)
177. THIEVES THAT STOLE A COCK (Perry
A Band of Thieves Brake into a House once, and found nothing in’t to
carry away, but One Poor Cock. The Cock said as much for Himself as a
Cock could say; but Insisted Chiefly upon the Services of his calling
People up to their Work, when ‘twas time to Rise. Sirrah (says one of
the Thieves) You had better have let that Argument alone; for Your Waking
the Family Spoils our Trade, and We are to be Hang’d forsooth your Bawling.
THE MORAL. That which is One Body’s Meat, is Another Body’s Poison;
as the Trussing up of Thieves is the Security of Honest Men. One Foolish
Word is enough to Spoil a Good Cause, and ’tis many a Man’s Fortune to
Cut his Own Throat with his Own Argument.
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.