Aesop for Children (1919)
146. THE FISHERMAN AND THE LITTLE FISH
A poor Fisherman, who lived on the fish he caught, had bad luck one day and caught nothing but a very small fry. The Fisherman was about to put it in his basket when the little Fish said:
"Please spare me, Mr. Fisherman! I am so small it is not worth while to carry me home. When I am bigger, I shall make you a much better meal."
But the Fisherman quickly put the fish into his basket.
"How foolish I should be," he said, "to throw you back. However small you may be, you are better than nothing at all."
A small gain is worth more than a large promise.
Aesop for Children (translator not identified), 1919. Illustrations by Milo Winter (1886-1956). Available online at Project Gutenberg.