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

Perry 199 (Syntipas 39)

A young boy had gone far off into the desert where he was catching crickets to put them in cages. When he noticed a scorpion in their midst, he mistook it for another cricket. The boy reached down to pick the scorpion up off the ground, whereupon the scorpion pointed his sting at the boy, ready to stab him, and said, 'If you had gone so far as to touch me, I would have set both you and your crickets free!'
This fable shows that you should not treat bad people the same way that you treat good people; rather, you should deal with each of them in the way that suits their character.

Note: For the practice of catching crickets for their song, see Theocritus 1.

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.