Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
363. THE WAR BETWEEN THE BEASTS AND THE BIRDS
Perry 566 (Ademar
The birds were at war with the beasts, and it was impossible to tell
which side was winning and which was losing. Afraid to find himself on
the losing side, the bat kept switching to the other side as soon as he
thought it was going to prevail. Peace was eventually restored, and both
the birds and the beasts realized that the bat had been a traitor. Found
guilty of such a dastardly crime, the bat fled from the light and concealed
himself in the dark shadows of the night.
People who try to take both sides in a dispute will be shamefully rejected
by both of them; it is better not to make any enemies at all than to lose
Note: For another explanation of why the bat comes out only at night,
see Fable 500.
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.