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loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Friday, February 10, 2017

fable: the eagle, the cat, and the sow

british library (PD)
In this fable, found in a collection dated 1818, a cat tells some very wicked lies.  
An Eagle had built her nest upon the top branches  of an old oak; a Wild Cat inhabited a hole in the middle; and in the hollow part at the bottom was a Sow with a whole litter of Pigs. A happy neighbourhood, and might long have continued so, had it not been for  the wicked insinuations of the designing Cat: for first of all, up she crept to the Eagle, and, Good neighbour, says she, we shall all be undone; that filthy Sow yonder does nothing but lie rooting at the foot of the tree, and, as I suspect, intends to grub it up, that she may the more easily come at our young ones. For my part, I will take care of my own concerns, you may do as you please; but I will watch her motions, though I stay at home this month for it. When she had said this, which could not fail of putting the Eagle into a great fright, down she went, and made a visit to the Sow at the bottom: putting on a sorrowful face, I hope, says she, you do not intend to go abroad to-day: why not? says the Sow: nay, replies the other, you may do as you please, but I overheard the Eagle tell her young ones, that she would treat them with a Pig the first time she saw you go out; and I am not sure but she may take up with a Kitten in the mean time; so good morrow to you, you will excuse me, I must go and take care of the little folks at home. Away she went accordingly, and by contriving to steal out softly at nights for her prey, and to stand watching and peeping all day at her hole, as under great concern, she made such an impression upon the Eagle and the Sow, that neither of them dared to venture abroad, for fear of the other; the consequence of which was, that they in a little time were starved, and their young ones fell a prey to the treacherous Cat and her Kittens.

This shews us the ill consequence of giving ear to a gossiping double-tongued neighbour. Many sociable well-disposed families have been blown up into a perpetual discord, by one of these wicked go-betweens; so that whoever would avoid the imputation of being a bad neighbour, should guard both against receiving ill impressions by hearsay, and uttering his opinions of others, to those busy bodies, who, to gratify a malignant disposition, or gain some selfish end of their own, can magnify a gnat to the size of a camel, or swell a mole-hill to a mountain.

--from Bewick, T., Aesop., . (1818). The fables of Aesop, and others. Newcastle: Printed by E. Walker for T. Bewick and son. Sold by them, Longman and Co. London, and all booksellers. 39-40

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