Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
589. THE OLD WOMAN AND HER DOCTOR
Perry 57 (Chambry
An old woman suffering from an eye ailment summoned a doctor who charged
a certain fee. She told him that if he cured her, she would pay him the
specified fee, but if he didn't cure her, she wouldn't pay him anything.
The doctor began the cure, visiting the woman every day. He would smear
an ointment on her eyes, and while the ointment prevented her from seeing,
he would take some object from her house and carry it away. He did the
same thing day after day. The woman saw that her property was being diminished
with each passing day and by the time she was cured, all her household
goods were gone. The doctor asked her for the agreed upon fee, since she
was now able to see clearly, and he summoned witnesses to their agreement.
The woman protested, 'I can't see a thing! Even when my eyes were ailing,
I was able to see the many things which I had in my home. Now, when you
claim I am cured, I can't see any of them!'
The fable shows that by their own actions, wicked people can unwittingly
serve as witnesses against themselves in a court of law.
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.