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Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)

141. A MAN AND TWO WIVES (Perry 31)

It was now Cuckow Time, and a certain middle-ag’d Man, that was half grey, half brown, took a fancy to marry two Wives, of an Age one under another, and happy was the Woman who could please him best. They took mighty Care of him to all manner of Purposes, and still as they were combing the good Man’s Head, they’d be picking out here and there a Hair to make it all of a Colour. The matronly Wife, she pluck’d out all the brown Hairs, and the younger the white: So that they left the Man in the Conclusion no better than a bald Buzzard betwixt them.
THE MORAL. ‘Tis a much harder Thing to please two Wives, than two Masters; and he’s a bold Man that offers at it.


L'Estrange originally published his version of the fables in 1692. There is a very nice illustrated edition in the Children's Classics series by Knopf: Sir Roger L'Estrange. Aesop - Fables which is available at amazon.com.