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

Perry 198 (Syntipas 18)

A creeping snake who had been stepped on by many people made his way to the temple of Apollo and went inside. Apollo immediately explained to the snake, 'If you had simply killed the first person who stepped on you, no one would ever have dared to step on you again!'
The story shows that if people who have previously committed a crime are swiftly punished, then others will become afraid on their account.

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.