Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
29. THE HEDGEHOG, THE FOX AND THE TICKS
Perry 427 (Aristotle,
Aesop was defending a demagogue at Samos who was on trial for his life
when he told this story: 'A fox was crossing a river but she got swept
by the current into a gully. A long time passed and she couldn't get out.
Meanwhile, there were ticks swarming all over the fox's body, making her
quite miserable. A hedgehog wandered by and happened to see the fox. He
took pity on her and asked if he should remove the ticks, but the fox
refused. The hedgehog asked the reason why, and the fox replied, "These
ticks have taken their fill of me and are barely sucking my blood at this
point, but if you take these ticks away, others will come and those hungry
new ticks will drink up all the blood I have left!" And the same
is true for you, people of Samos: this man will do you no harm since he
is already wealthy, but if you condemn him to death, others will come
who do not have any money, and they will rob you blind!'
Note: According to Herodotus
(2.134), Aesop lived on the island of Samos, a Greek island in the
Aegean Sea, near the coast of modern Turkey.
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.