Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
68. THE HUNTING DOG AND THE WATCH DOG
Perry 92 (Chambry
There was a man who had two dogs. He taught one to hunt and the other
to be a watchdog. Whenever the hunting dog caught something, the watchdog
would also share in the spoils. This made the hunting dog angry at the
watchdog, since he had to work for everything he had while the watchdog
lived off the fruits of his labour without doing anything. The watchdog
retorted, 'Don't blame me! It's our master's fault. Since he didn't teach
me how to work, I only know how to eat the food that others earn.'
This fable shows that the same is true of children: it is not their
fault if they don't know how to do anything, since this is how their parents
have raised them.
Note: A similar story is associated with the legendary Spartan lawgiver
Lycurgus (in Plutarch, Sayings of the Spartans): Lycurgus took two dogs
and raised them differently, one as a hunter and one as a house dog,
in order to demonstrate the degree to which education determines excellence.
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.