Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
46. THE WOLF AND THE CRANE
Perry 156 (Phaedrus
If you think a scoundrel will reward you for a job well done, you
are making two mistakes: first, you are helping someone who doesn't deserve
it, and second, you will be lucky to escape unharmed.
A wolf swallowed a bone which got stuck in his throat. The pain was excruciating,
so the wolf started looking for someone who could be induced to remove
the accursed thing in exchange for a reward. The wolf asked each of the
animals if they would help him and finally the crane was convinced by
the wolf's solemn promises. Trusting her long beak to the wolf's gaping
maw, the crane carried out the dangerous cure. Yet when the crane demanded
the promised reward, the wolf simply said, 'You ungrateful creature! You
extracted your head unharmed from my mouth and still you ask for a reward?'
Note: Other versions of this story (e.g., Babrius
94) are about a heron, not a crane. The Buddhist Javasakuna - jataka
tells the same story about a lion and a crane.
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.