Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)
188. AN ANT FORMERLY A MAN (Perry 166)
The Ant, or Pismire, was formerly a Husband-man, that secretly Filch'd
away his Neighbour's Goods and Corn, and stor'd up all in his own Barn.
He drew a General Curse upon his Head for't, and Jupiter as a Punishment,
and for the Credit of Mankind, turn'd him into a Pismire; but this Change
of Shape wrought no Alteration, either of Mind, or of Manners; for he
keeps the same Humour and Nature to this very Day.
THE MORAL. That which Some call Good Husbandry, Industry and Providence,
Others call Raking, Avarice, and Oppression: So that the Vertue and the
Vice, in many Cases, are hardly Distinguishable but by the Name.
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.