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

Perry 87 (Syntipas 27)

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.

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.