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

66. A DOG AND A WOLF (Perry 346)

There was a hagged Carrion of a Wolf, and a jolly sort of a genteel Dog, with good Flesh upon’s Back, that fell into Company together upon the King’s Highway. The Wolf was wonderfully pleas’d with his Companion, and as inquisitive to learn how he brought himself to that blessed State of Body. Why, says the Dog, I keep my Master’s House from Thieves, and I have very good Meat, Drink, and Lodging for my Pains. Now if you’ll go along with me, and do as I do, you may fare as I fare. The Wolf struck up the Bargain, and so away they trotted together: But as they were jogging on, the Wolf spy’d a bare Place about the Dog’s Neck, where the Hair was worn off. Brother (says he) how comes this, I prithee? Oh, that’s nothing, says the Dog, but the fretting of my Collar a little. Nay says t’other, if there be a Collar in the Case, I know better things than to sell my Liberty for a Crust.
THE MORAL. We are so dazzl’d with Glare of a splendid Appearance, that we can hardly discern the Inconveniences that attend it. ‘Tis a Comfort to have good Meat and Drink at Command, and warm Lodging: But he that sells his Freedom, for the cramming of his Gut, has but a hard Bargain of it.

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.