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The Goatherd and the Wild Goats

from Aesop's Fables





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.





Next: The Mischievous Dog

Previous: The Vain Jackdaw



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