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

186. A WOLF AND A SHEEP (Perry 160)

A Wolf that lay Licking of his Wounds, and extreamly Faint and Ill upon the Biting of a Dog, call’d out to a Sheep that was passing by. Hark ye Friend (says he) if thou wouldst but help me to a Soup of Water out of the same Brook there, I could make a Shift to get my self somewhat to Eat. Yes, said the Sheep, I make no Doubt on’t; but when I bring ye Drink, my Carcase shall serve ye for Meat to’t.
THE MORAL. It is a Charitable and Christian Office to relieve the Poor and the Distressed; but this Duty does not Extend to Sturdy Beggars, that while they are receiving Alms with One Hand, are ready to Beat out a Man’s Brains with the Other.


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.