Aesop's Fables: Townsend (1867)
240. The Spendthrift and the Swallow (Perry
A YOUNG MAN, a great spendthrift, had run through all his patrimony and
had but one good cloak left. One day he happened to see a Swallow, which
had appeared before its season, skimming along a pool and twittering gaily.
He supposed that summer had come, and went and sold his cloak. Not many
days later, winter set in again with renewed frost and cold. When he found
the unfortunate Swallow lifeless on the ground, he said, 'Unhappy bird!
what have you done? By thus appearing before the springtime you have not
only killed yourself, but you have wrought my destruction also.'
George Fyler Townsend's translation of the fables, first published in 1867, is
in the public domain and can be found at many websites, including Project
Illustrations come from: Aesop's Fables, by George Fyler Townsend, with
illustrations by Harrison Weir, 1867, at Google