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

Perry 60 (Syntipas 2)

A poor man was carrying a load of wood on his shoulders. After a while he was feeling faint, so he sat down by the side of the road. Putting aside his burden, he bitterly called out to Death, summoning Death with the words 'O Death!' Death immediately showed up and said to the man, 'Why have you summoned me?' The man said, 'Oh, just to have you help me pick this burden up off the ground!'
The fable shows that everyone clings to life, even if they suffer from affliction and oppression.

Note: In other versions of this fable (Chambry 78), the protagonist is an 'old man,' rather than a 'poor man.'

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.