Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
305. THE VIPER AND THE FILE
Perry 93 (Phaedrus
If you have ever tried to take a bite out of someone whose fangs are
even sharper than yours, you will recognize yourself in this story.
A viper entered a blacksmith's workshop and bit the file, testing it to
see if this was something she could eat. The file protested fiercely,
'You fool! Why are you trying to wound me with your teeth, when I am able
to gnaw through every sort of iron?'
Note: In Caxton (3.12), the file pronounces
a whole series of proverbs: 'And therfore thow arte a foole to gnawe
me / For I telle the / that none euyll may hurte ne adommage another
as euylle as he / Ne none wycked may hurte another wycked / ne also
the hard ageynst the hard shalle not breke eche other / ne two enuyous
men shal not both ryde vpon an asse / wherfor the myghty and stronge
must loue hym whiche is as myghty and as stronge as hym self is.'
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.