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

29. A DOG, A SHEEP, AND A WOLF (Perry 478)

A Dog brought an Action of the Case against a Sheep, for some certain Measures of Wheat, that he had lent him. The Plaintiff prov'd the Debt by three positive Witnesses, the Wolf, the Kite, and the Vulture. (Testes probi & legales.) The Defendant was cast in Costs and Damages, and forc'd to sell the Wool off his Back to satisfy the Creditor.
THE MORAL. 'Tis not a Straw matter whether the main Cause be right or wrong, or the Charge true or false; where the Bench, Jury and Witnesses are in a Conspiracy against the Prisoner.

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.