Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
441. THE HEN AND THE EGGS
Perry 192 (Syntipas
A hen came across the eggs of a snake and devoted herself to them, settling
atop the eggs and brooding on them. A swallow saw what the hen was doing
and said, 'O you stupid, senseless creature! They will destroy you first
of all and then destroy everyone around you!'
The fable shows that we should never put our trust in a wicked man,
even if he seems to be completely innocuous.
Note: L'Estrange has a vivid epimythium:
''Tis the hard Fortune of many a Good Natur'd Man to breed up a Bird
to Pick out his own Eyes, in despite of all Cautions to the contrary.'
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.