Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
388. THE OLD DOG AND HIS MASTER
Perry 532 (Phaedrus
There was a dog who had been swift and strong when attacking all kinds
of wild beasts, never failing to do what his master wanted, but now he
found himself beginning to grow feeble under the burden of old age. On
one occasion he was sent forward to fight with a bristling boar. The dog
seized the boar by the ear, but the weak grip of his decaying teeth allowed
the quarry to get away. The hunter was angry and scolded the dog. The
stalwart old hound said to the man in reply, 'I did not fail you in spirit,
only in strength. Praise me for what I once was, even if you must condemn
me for what I am now!'
Philetus, you can clearly see why I have written this story.
Note: Phaedrus makes no other reference to this 'Philetus.' For another
fable which Phaedrus seems to imbue with cryptic personal meaning, see
Fable 572, the story of the old woman and the
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.