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Contents > Author > Fable Aesop > The Goatherd And The Wild Goats 620 BC- 560 BC
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Fable Aesop
The Goatherd And The Wild Goats
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A Goatherd, driving his flock from their pasture at eventide, found
some Wild Goats mingled among them, and shut them up together
with his own for the night. The next day it snowed very hard, so
that he could not take the herd to their usual feeding places, but
was obliged to keep them in the fold. He gave his own goats just
sufficient food to keep them alive, but fed the strangers more
abundantly in the hope of enticing them to stay with him and of
making them his own. When the thaw set in, he led them all out
to feed, and the Wild Goats scampered away as fast as they could
to the mountains. The Goatherd scolded them for their ingratitude
in leaving him, when during the storm he had taken more care of
them than of his own herd. One of them, turning about, said to him:
"That is the very reason why we are so cautious; for if you yesterday
treated us better than the Goats you have had so long, it is plain
also that if others came after us, you would in the same manner
prefer them to ourselves."

Old friends cannot with impunity be sacrificed for new ones.

(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)

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