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

Perry 324 (Romulus 1.18)

If someone is always blaspheming, what can he expect in times of trouble? Let us consider the fable on this subject proposed by our author.
The kite was sick and had spent many months in bed. When there was no longer any hope of his recovery, he tearfully asked his mother to make the rounds of all the shrines and to offer great vows for his recovery. 'I will do what you want, my son, but I am afraid that I will not succeed. It scares and worries me, my child: since you pillaged all the temples and polluted all the altars, showing no reverence for the holy sacrifices, what can I pray for now on your behalf?'
This is a fable that should be heeded by those criminals who dare to visit the holy shrines while still bearing the stains of their sin. They need to busy themselves with good works, making every effort to efface their evil deeds.

Note: For a quite different fable about a human mother and her criminal son, see Fable 496.

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.