Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
121. THE SOLDIER AND THE TRUMPET
Perry 370 (Avianus
There was once a soldier, a weary veteran of many battles who had vowed
to kindle a bonfire and consign his weapons to the flames including all
those weapons which many a dying man had surrendered to him in victory
along with anything that he had been able to seize from the enemy forces
as they fled the field. Since Fortune had favoured his wishes, the soldier
was now about to carry out his vow, so he began casting the weapons one
by one onto the burning pyre. The trumpet, however, protested loudly,
denying his guilt and insisting that he was being sent undeservedly to
the flames of the fire. 'You cannot claim that my powers were used to
launch any missiles directed at your mighty arms,' said the trumpet. 'All
I did was to urge the weapons onward with my blast and my blare. Indeed,
I swear by all the stars in heaven that I actually tried to blow as quietly
as possible!' The soldier nevertheless added the trumpet to the rest of
the weapons. As the trumpet tossed and turned in the crackling flames,
the soldier remarked, 'All the more reason for you to suffer this pain
and punishment! Although you did not actually accomplish anything on your
own, you are all the more vicious on that account, since you urged others
to do wicked deeds.'
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.