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

41. A BAT, BIRDS AND BEASTS (Perry 566)

Upon a desperate and a double Battel betwixt the Birds and the Beasts, the Bat stood Neuter, till she found that the Beasts had the better on’t, and then went over to the stronger Side. But it came to pass afterward (as the Chance of War is various) that the Birds rally’d their broken Troops, and carry’d the Day; and away she went then to t’other Party, where she was try’d by a Council of War as a Deserter; stript, banish’d, and finally condemn’d never to see Day-light again.
THE MORAL OF THE THREE FABLES ABOVE. Trimming, in some, Cases, is foul and dishonest; in others laudable, and in some again not only honest but necessary. The Nicety lies in the Skill of distinguishing upon Cases, Times, and Degrees.

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.