<< Home Page | L'Estrange Index

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


A Herds-Man that had lost a Calf out of his Grounds, sent up and down after it; and when he could get no Tidings on’t, he betook himself at last to his Prayers according to the Custom of the World, when People are brought to a Forc’d-Put. Great Jupiter (says he) Do but shew me the Thief that stole my Calf, and I’ll give thee a Kid for a Sacrifice. The Word was no sooner pass’d but the Thief appear’d; which was indeed a Lion. This Discovery put him to his Prayers once again. I have not forgotten my Vow, says he, but now thou hast brought me to the Thief, I’ll make the Kid a Bull, if thou’lt but set me Quit of him again.
THE MORAL. We cannot be too Careful and Considerate what Vows and Promises we make; for the very Granting of our Prayers turns many times to our Utter Ruin.

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.