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

Perry 396 (Aphthonius 3)

A story about kites and swans, exhorting us not to imitate things that are inappropriate to us.
Nature originally supplied the kites with a voice equal to that of the swans. But when the kites heard the sound of horses neighing, they were enchanted and tried to imitate it. In the course of their studies, the kites lost what voice they had: they did not learn how to neigh, and they forgot how to sing.
By imitating something inappropriate, you can lose what you had to begin with.

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.