The Labourer and the Nightingale

: Aesop's Fables

A Labourer lay listening to a Nightingale's song throughout

the summer night. So pleased was he with it that the next night

he set a trap for it and captured it. "Now that I have caught

thee," he cried, "thou shalt always sing to me."

"We Nightingales never sing in a cage." said the bird.

"Then I'll eat thee." said the Labourer. "I have always heard

say that a nightingale on toast is dainty morsel."

"Nay, kill me not," said the Nightingale; "but let me free,

and I'll tell thee three things far better worth than my poor

body." The Labourer let him loose, and he flew up to a branch of

a tree and said: "Never believe a captive's promise; that's one

thing. Then again: Keep what you have. And third piece of advice

is: Sorrow not over what is lost forever." Then the song-bird

flew away.