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

78. AN OLD TREE TRANSPLANTED (Perry)

A certain Farmer had one choice Apple-Tree in his Orchard, that he valued above all the rest, and made his Landlord every Year a Present of the Fruit on’t. He lik’d the Apples so very well, that nothing would serve him but transplanting the Tree into his own Grounds. It wither’d presently upon the Removal, and so there was an end of both Fruit and Tree together. The News was no sooner brought to the Landlord, but he brake out into this Reflection upon it: This comes, says he, of transplanting an old Tree, to gratify and extravagant Appetite: whereas, if I could have contented my self with the Fruit, and left my Tenant the Tree still, all had been well.
THE MORAL. Nature has her certain Methods and Seasons for the doing of every thing, and there must be no trying of Experiments to put her out of her Course.


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.