Abstemius's Fables (Sir Roger L'Estrange)
333. (Abstemius 81) An Eagle and Rabbets.
There was an Eagle that drew a Nest of Rabbets, and carry'd them away to her Young. The Mother-Coney follow-d her with Tears in her Eyes, adjuring her in the Name of all those Powers, that take care of the Innocent and Oppressed, to have Compassion upon her miserable Children: But she, in an Outrage of Pride and Indignation, tears them presently to Pieces. The Coney, upon this, convenes a whole Warren; tells her Story, and advises upon a Revenge: For Divine Justice (says she) will never suffer so barbarous a Cruelty to escape unpunish'd. They debated the Matter, and came to an Unanimous Resolve upon the Question, that there was no Way of paying the Eagle in her kind, but by Undermining the Tree where she Timber'd. So they all fell to work at the Roots of the Tree, and left it so little Foot-hold, that the first Blast of Wind laid if Flat upon the Ground, Nest, Eagles and all. Some of 'em were kill'd by the Fall; Others were eaten up by Birds and Beasts of Prey, and the Coney had the Comfort at last, of destroying the Eagle's Children in Revenge for her Own.
'Tis highly Imprudent, even in the Greatest of Men, unnecessarily to provoke the Meanest, when the Pride of Pharaoh himself was brought down by miserable Frogs and Lice.
Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists: Abstemius's Fables by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Available online at Google Books.