Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
369. THE CRAB AND HIS MOTHER
Perry 322 (Aphthonius
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.'
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.