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

Perry 322 (Aphthonius 11)

A story about a crab, urging us not to advise things that are impossible.
The crab's mother said to him, 'My son, why do you walk in a crooked line when you should be walking straight ahead?' The crab said to her, 'O mother, lead the way, and I will try to walk accordingly.' The crab's mother was unable to walk in a straight line, and her son accused her of being out of her mind.
It is easier to advocate an impossible task than to accomplish it.

Note: A proverb about the crab's walk is found in Aristophanes, Peace 1083: 'you will never be able to make a crab walk straight.'

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.