Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
73. THE EAGLE AND THE FARMER
Perry 296 (Chambry
An eagle was caught by a farmer but the farmer let him go when he realized
what he had caught. The eagle did not forget this good deed, and when
he saw the farmer sitting under a wall that was on the verge of collapsing,
he snatched the bandana from the man's head, wanting to rouse the man
from his seat and make him stand up. After the man set off in pursuit,
the kindly eagle dropped what he had snatched and thus fully repaid the
man's good deed: the man would have been crushed by the wall's collapse
if he had stayed there any longer. After a while the man came back to
where he had been sitting and found that the upright section of the wall
had fallen to the ground.
This fable shows that if anyone does you a favour you must repay them
Note: In Cicero,
On Divination 1.15, the same story is reported as actually having
happened to Deiotarus (d. 40 B.C.E.), a Galatian monarch and ally of
the Romans. For a similar legend attributed to the prophet Mohammed,
Mathnawi 3.3233 ff.
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.