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Contents > Author > Fable Aesop > The Birdcatcher, the Partridge, and the Cock 620 BC- 560 BC
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Fable Aesop
The Birdcatcher, the Partridge, and the Cock
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A Birdcatcher was about to sit down to a dinner of herbs when
a friend unexpectedly came in. The bird-trap was quite empty,
as he had caught nothing, and he had to kill a pied Partridge,
which he had tamed for a decoy.

The bird entreated earnestly for his life: "What would you do
without me when next you spread your nets? Who would chirp
you to sleep, or call for you the covey of answering birds?"

The Birdcatcher spared his life, and determined to pick out a
fine young Cock just attaining to his comb. But the Cock
expostulated in piteous tones from his perch: "If you kill me,
who will announce to you the appearance of the dawn? Who
will wake you to your daily tasks or tell you when it is time to
visit the bird-trap in the morning?"

He replied, "What you say is true. You are a capital bird at
telling the time of day. But my friend and I must have our dinners."

Necessity knows no law.

(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)

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