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

73. AN EAGLE AND A DAW (Perry 2)

An Eagle made a stoop and a Lamb; truss’d it, and took it cleverly away with her. A mimical Daw, that saw this Exploit, would needs try the same Experiment upon a Ram: But his claws were so shackled in the Fleece with lugging to get him up, the Shepherd came in, and caught him, before he could clear himself; he clipt his Wings, and carried him home to his Children to play withal. They came gaping about him, and ask’d their Father what strange Bird that was? Why, says he, he’ll tell you himself that he’s an Eagle; but if you’ll take my word for’t; I know him to be a Daw.
THE MORAL. ‘Tis a high degree of Vanity and folly, for Men to take more upon them than they are able to go through withal; and the End of those Undertakings is only Mockery and Disappointment in the Conclusion.

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.