Aesop's Fables: Townsend (1867)
99. The Widow and the Sheep (Perry
A CERTAIN poor widow had one solitary Sheep. At shearing time, wishing
to take his fleece and to avoid expense, she sheared him herself, but
used the shears so unskillfully that with the fleece she sheared the flesh.
The Sheep, writhing with pain, said, 'Why do you hurt me so, Mistress?
What weight can my blood add to the wool? If you want my flesh, there
is the butcher, who will kill me in an instant; but if you want my fleece
and wool, there is the shearer, who will shear and not hurt me.'
The least outlay is not always the greatest gain.
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