Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
111. THE EAGLE AND THE CROW
Perry 490 (Phaedrus
No one is sufficiently well armed against the high and the mighty,
and if there is a malicious advisor involved as well, then whoever falls
victim to their criminal forces will be destroyed.
An eagle carried a tortoise high up into the air but the tortoise's flesh
was hidden inside a home of horn, tucked away safely inside so no harm
could come to it. A crow then arrived on the scene and as she winged her
way past the eagle she said, 'Well now, you have grasped an excellent
prize in your talons, but unless I show you what to do with it, its weight
will exhaust you to no avail.' When the eagle promised to share with the
crow, the crow advised her to drop the hard shell from the starry heights
down onto the rocks. After the shell had been shattered, the tortoise's
meat would be easily consumed. The eagle was persuaded by the crow's clever
counsel and carried out the plan, generously sharing the feast with her
teacher. Thus even something protected by a gift of nature was no match
for these two, and the tortoise died a pitiful death.
Note: This mutual cooperation between the crow and the eagle seems
to be Phaedrus's own particular interpretation on the traditional tale;
for the treachery which is more typical of Aesop's fables, see Fable
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.