Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
434. THE MAN AND THE GOLDEN EGGS
Perry 87 (Syntipas
A man had a hen that laid a golden egg for him each and every day. The
man was not satisfied with this daily profit, and instead he foolishly
grasped for more. Expecting to find a treasure inside, the man slaughtered
the hen. When he found that the hen did not have a treasure inside her
after all, he remarked to himself, 'While chasing after hopes of a treasure,
I lost the profit I held in my hands!'
The fable shows that people often grasp for more than they need and
thus lose the little they have.
Note: In other versions of this fable (e.g., Avianus
33), the bird is a goose. In the Buddhist Suvannahamsa - jataka,
a bird with golden feathers is plucked bare by its owner.
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.