Friday Fable. Aesop’s “VENUS AND THE CAT”*

Posted by jlubans on September 19, 2014

Caption: Illustration by Samuel Croxall (c.1690 – 1752) in an 1867 edition of his Aesop, foretelling the outcome of this story.

“A Cat fell in love with a handsome young man, and begged the goddess Venus to change her into a woman. Venus was very gracious about it, and changed her at once into a beautiful maiden, whom the young man fell in love with at first sight and shortly afterwards married. One day Venus thought she would like to see whether the Cat had changed her habits as well as her form; so she let a mouse run loose in the room where they were. Forgetting everything, the young woman had no sooner seen the mouse than up she jumped and was after it like a shot: at which the goddess was so disgusted that she changed her back again into a Cat.”

“Nature will out.” Or, as George Fyler put it: “Nature exceeds nurture.”

Perhaps an Aesopic example of genetic engineering gone bad? Or, is this rampant self-righteousness: beasts will be beasts, man’s carnal nature cannot be suppressed, once a thief, always a thief, and so on?

*Source: AESOP'S FABLES A NEW TRANSLATION BY V. S. VERNON JONES WITH AN INTRODUCTION By G. K. CHESTERTON AND ILLUSTRATIONS BY ARTHUR RACKHAM (Publisher: London: W. Heinemann; New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1912). Available at Gutenberg.

@Copyright John Lubans 2014
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