Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
463. THE MAN AND THE TREE WITHOUT FRUIT
Perry 299 (Chambry
A farmer had a tree on his land that did not yield any sort of fruit
whatsoever. Instead, it was a home to the sparrows and the cicadas who
chirped and sang. The farmer, however, thought that the tree was useless
and decided he would cut it down. He grabbed an axe and prepared to start
chopping, but the cicadas and the sparrows all began to wail, shouting
these words at the man, 'Listen to us, O master of the tree: we implore
you to be more generous. Please do not cut down this reverend dwelling!
If indeed you are resolved to do such a thing, what benefit can you possibly
hope for?' The man felt no pity for the creatures and showed them no mercy
as he struck the tree three times with the axe's blade. But no sooner
had the man made a crack in the tree when he found there a hive of bees
and honey. He took a taste and immediately dropped his axe, vowing to
cherish this tree even more than his fruit-bearing trees.
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.