Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
582. THE BALD MAN AND THE FLY
Perry 525 (Phaedrus
A bald man was bitten on the head by a fly and when he tried to swat
the fly he gave himself a serious slap on the head. Then the fly laughed
at the man and said, 'You wanted to avenge the sting of a tiny little
insect by committing murder: what are you going to do to yourself now
that you have added insult to your injury?' The man replied, 'I can easily
forgive myself since I know that I did not try to hurt myself on purpose.
As for you, you worthless creature, spawn of a loathsome race of insects
who delight in drinking human blood, I would be glad to get rid of you
even if it required an even greater inconvenience to myself!'
This shows that a person who commits an accidental crime should be
pardoned, while the person who injures someone else on purpose should,
in my opinion, be punished as fully as possible.
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.