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Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)

Perry 566 (Ademar 38)

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 the battle.

Note: For another explanation of why the bat comes out only at night, see Fable 500.

Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
NOTE: New cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.