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

Perry 158 (Aphthonius 39)

A story about a wolf and a nurse, exhorting us not to count on our hopes in advance of the outcome.
A nurse was annoyed because her infant charge kept crying. When he refused to be quiet, she said that if he didn't stop bawling, she would throw him to the wolf. A wolf just happened to be passing by and he waited for the nurse to carry out her threat. But the child fell asleep, so the wolf went away bereft of the gain he could have gotten on his own, as well as the gain he had hoped to acquire elsewhere.
There is no point in hoping for things that are not going to happen.

Note: For a misogynistic moral to this same story, see Fable 283 (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.