Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
175. THE SHEEP, THE DOG AND THE WITNESSES
Perry 478 (Ademar
A dog made false accusations against the sheep, saying, 'You must give
me back the bread which I gave you on loan.' This led to an argument,
since the sheep insisted that she had never taken any bread from the dog.
When they took the matter to court, the dog reportedly claimed to have
witnesses. The wolf was brought in and he swore, 'I know that the sheep
borrowed bread from the dog.' The kite was brought in and he swore, 'I
saw the sheep take it.' As the hawk came in, he said to the sheep, 'Do
you deny that you took it?' Defeated by these three false witness, the
sheep was hard pressed to pay back the loan; in order to return what she
had not borrowed, she was forced to fleece herself of her own wool and
For someone who treacherously persecutes and destroys innocent people.
Note: Walter of England (twelfth-century
author of an extremely popular collection of fables in verse) is even
more specific about the sheep's grim fate: 'even though winter was coming
on, the sheep had to sell her own wool and suffer the north wind's blast
while she was stripped bare of her own fleece.'
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.