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


As a Fowler was bending his net, a Black-Bird call'd to him at a distance, and ask'd him what he was doing. Why, says he, I am laying the Foundations of a City; and so the Bird-Man drew out of Sight. The Black-Bird mistrusting nothing, flew presently to the Bait in the Net, and was taken; and as the Man came running to lay hold of her; Friend, says the poor Black-Bird, if this be your way of Building, you'll have but few Inhabitants.
THE MORAL. There is no Sham so gross, but it will pass upon a weak Man that is pragmatical and inquisitive.

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.