Friday Fable. Aesop’s “THE EAGLE AND THE FOX”*

Posted by jlubans on April 09, 2015

Caption: “Don’t get mad, get even”. Woodcut by Heinrich Steinhöwel, active 1429-1480.

“An Eagle and a Fox became great friends and determined to live near one another: they thought that the more they saw of each other the better friends they would be. So the Eagle built a nest at the top of a high tree, while the Fox settled in a thicket at the foot of it and produced a litter of cubs. One day the Fox went out foraging for food, and the Eagle, who also wanted food for her young, flew down into the thicket, caught up the Fox's cubs, and carried them up into the tree for a meal for herself and her family. When the Fox came back, and found out what had happened, she was not so much sorry for the loss of her cubs as furious because she couldn't get at the Eagle and pay her out for her treachery. So she sat down not far off and cursed her. But it wasn't long before she had her revenge. Some villagers happened to be sacrificing a goat on a neighbouring altar, and the Eagle flew down and carried off a piece of burning flesh to her nest. There was a strong wind blowing, and the nest caught fire, with the result that her fledglings fell half-roasted to the ground. Then the Fox ran to the spot and devoured them in full sight of the Eagle.”

“False faith may escape human punishment, but cannot escape the divine.”

So, listen well gossipmongers, slanderers, calumners, tittle-tattlers, libelers, denigrators, defamers, schemers, trash-talkers and other evildoers. There comes a time for payment, the scales must balance out. Count not on getting off scot-free. It may take time, but a squaring of accounts will happen when you least expect it.
The fox, in the illustration, however is not one to wait for divine intervention - immediate retribution is more like it! Perhaps if perpetrators were punished right away, there might be more thought given to doing what’s right rather than wrong.

*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.

© 2015 John Lubans

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