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

Perry 290 (Babrius 21)

There were once some oxen who had decided to destroy all the butchers since their very profession was hostile to oxen. They banded together and sharpened their horns in preparation for the coming battle. Among them was a very elderly ox who had plowed a great deal of earth in his day. This ox said to the others, 'The butchers slaughter us with experienced hands and they kill us without unnecessary torment, but if we fall into the hands of men who lack this skill, then we will die twice over -- and there will always be someone to slaughter us, even if we get rid of the butchers!'

Note: An epimythium probably added by a later editor reads: 'Someone who is eager to flee a present danger should take care or else he will find himself in even worse straits.'

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.