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

Perry 211 (Syntipas 23)

A boy had gone down to the river to bathe but because he didn't know how to swim, he was in danger of drowning. The boy then saw a man walking by and called to him for help. As the man was pulling the boy out of the water, he said, 'If you don't know how to swim, why on earth did you dare to try these swollen river waters?' The drowning boy replied, 'Right now I just need your help; you can lecture me about it afterwards!'
The fable shows that people who lecture someone during a moment of crisis are offering criticism that is inappropriate and out of place.

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.