Aesop's Fables: Townsend (1867)
27. The Tortoise and the Eagle (Perry
A TORTOISE, lazily basking in the sun, complained to the sea-birds of
her hard fate, that no one would teach her to fly. An Eagle, hovering
near, heard her lamentation and demanded what reward she would give him
if he would take her aloft and float her in the air. 'I will give you,'
she said, 'all the riches of the Red Sea.' 'I will teach you to fly then,'
said the Eagle; and taking her up in his talons he carried her almost
to the clouds suddenly he let her go, and she fell on a lofty mountain,
dashing her shell to pieces. The Tortoise exclaimed in the moment of death:
'I have deserved my present fate; for what had I to do with wings and
clouds, who can with difficulty move about on the earth?'
If men had all they wished, they would be often ruined.
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