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Abstemius's Fables (Sir Roger L'Estrange)

330. (Abstemius 78) A Sheep-Biter Hang'd.

A Certain Shepherd had One Favourite Dog, that he had a Particular Confidence in above all the rest. He fed him with his Own hand, and took more Care of him, in short, then of any of his Fellows. This Kindness went on a Long Time, till in Conclusion, upon the Missing of some Sheep, he fancy'd This Cur to be False to him: After This Jealousy, he kept a Strict Eye upon him, and in fine, found it out, that this Trusty Servant of his was the Felon. Upon the Discovery, he had him presently taken up, bad him prepare for Execution. Alas! Master, says the Dog, I am One of your Family, and 'twould be hard to put a Domestique to Extremities: Turn your Displeasure upon the Wolves rather, that make a Daily Practice on't to Worry your Sheep. No, no, says the Shepherd, I'd sooner Spare Forty Wolves that make it their Profession to Kill Sheep, then One Sheep-biting Cur that's Trusted with the Care of them. There's somewhat of Frankness and Generosity in the One; but the Other is the Basest of Treacheries.
No Perfidy like Breach of Faith and Trust, under the Seal of Friendship: For an Adversary under that Masque, is much more Unpardonable then a Bare-fac'd Enemy.


Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists: Abstemius's Fables by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Available online at Google Books.