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

388. THE OLD DOG AND HIS MASTER
Perry 532 (Phaedrus 5.10)

There was a dog who had been swift and strong when attacking all kinds of wild beasts, never failing to do what his master wanted, but now he found himself beginning to grow feeble under the burden of old age. On one occasion he was sent forward to fight with a bristling boar. The dog seized the boar by the ear, but the weak grip of his decaying teeth allowed the quarry to get away. The hunter was angry and scolded the dog. The stalwart old hound said to the man in reply, 'I did not fail you in spirit, only in strength. Praise me for what I once was, even if you must condemn me for what I am now!'
Philetus, you can clearly see why I have written this story.

Note: Phaedrus makes no other reference to this 'Philetus.' For another fable which Phaedrus seems to imbue with cryptic personal meaning, see Fable 572, the story of the old woman and the wine jar.


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.