Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
599. THE FARMER AND THE PIG
Perry 583 (Avianus
When a pig kept destroying a farmer's crops and trampling his fertile
fields, the farmer cut off the pig's ear. He then let the pig go, expecting
that the pig would remember what had happened to him, since he carried
with him a reminder of the need to treat the farmer's crops with due respect
in the future. Nevertheless, the pig was caught once again in the act
of digging ruts in the ground and the treacherous animal was thus deprived
of his other ear, the only one that he had left. But as soon as he was
let loose again, the pig plunged his deformed head into the aforementioned
crops. His multiple offenses had made him a marked pig, so the farmer
caught him and consigned him to his master's sumptuous table. The farmer
sliced and served the various parts of the pig at dinner but when there
was no more left, the master asked what had happened to the pig's brains.
The fact was that the greedy cook had stolen them, so the farmer calmed
his master's understandable outrage by saying that the foolish pig didn't
have any brains to begin with. 'Why else would that pig have kept risking
life and limb,' said the farmer, 'and let himself be caught over and over
again by the same opponent?'
This illustrative story is a warning for people who take too many risks
and who can never keep their hands out of mischief.
Note: In the Greek, the cook actually steals the pig's heart, not his
brains (see the note to the preceding fable).
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.