Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
74. THE SNAKE AND THE FARMER
Perry 573 (Ademar
In the house of a certain farmer there lived a snake who regularly came
to the table and was fed on scraps of food. Not long afterwards the farmer
grew rich, but then he became angry at the snake and tried to attack him
with an axe. The farmer then lost his wealth and he realized that he had
prospered because of the good luck he had gained from the snake before
having wounded him. The farmer then begged the snake to forgive him for
his evil deed, and the snake replied, 'You are sorry for what you have
done, but you must not expect me to be your faithful friend until this
scar heals. It is not possible for me to be truly reconciled to you until
all thought of that treacherous axe has left my mind.'
The person who injures anyone at any time must be treated with suspicion,
which is a serious obstacle to the restoration of affection among friends.
Note: For a more elaborate version of this same story, see Fable
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.