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Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)

Perry 615 (Odo 56)

Against people who do not keep their promises.
There was once a mouse who had fallen into the foam of some fermenting wine or ale. A cat was passing by and heard the mouse squeaking because he couldn't get out. The cat said, 'Why are you making such a ruckus?' The mouse answered, 'Because I cannot get out of here.' The cat said, 'What will you give me if I get you out of there?' The mouse said, 'Whatever you want!' The cat said, 'If I set you free this time, will you come when I call you?' The mouse replied, 'You have my solemn promise.' The cat said, 'Swear an oath!' So the mouse swore an oath. The cat then rescued the mouse and let him go. Then one day the cat was hungry. He went to the mouse's hole and told him to come out. The mouse said, 'I refuse.' The cat said, 'Didn't you swear to me that you would come when I called you?' The mouse said, 'Brother, I was drunk when I swore that oath!'

Note: Like many of Odo's fables, this story has a monastic setting, and the mouse addresses the cat as 'brother,' as if they were both monks; for another one of Odo's monastic stories, see Fable 119 (following).

Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
NOTE: New cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.