Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)
61. A CAT AND VENUS (Perry 50)
A young Fellow that was passionately in Love with a Cat made it his humble
Suit to Venus to turn Puss into a Woman. The Transformation was wrought
in the twinkling of an Eye, and out she comes, a very bucksome Lass. The
doating Sot took her home to his Bed; and bad fair for a Litter of Kittens
by her that Night: But as the loving Couple lay snugging together, a Toy
took Venus in the Head, to try if the Cat had chang’d her Manners with
her Shape; and so for Experiment, turn’d a Mouse loose into the Chamber.
The Cat, upon this Temptation, started out of the Bed, and without any
regard to the Marriage-Joys, made a leap at the Mouse, which Venus took
for so high an Affront, that she turn’d the Madam into a Puss again.
THE MORAL. The extravagant Transports of Love, and the wonderful Force
of Nature, are unaccountable; the one carries us out of our selves, and
the other brings us back again.
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.