- The Two Rats, the Fox, and the Egg
- The Man and the Adder
- The Tortoise and the Two Ducks
- The Fishes and the Cormorant
- The Burier And His Comrade
- The Wolf and the Shepherds
- The Spider and the Swallow
- The Partridge and the Cocks
- The Dog whose Ears were Cropped
- The Shepherd and the King
- The Fishes and the Shepherd Who Played The Flute
- The Two Parrots, the King, And His Son
- The Lioness and the Bear
- The Two Adventurers and the Talisman
- The Rabbits
- The Merchant, the Noble, the Shepherd, and the King’s Son
A close-fist had his money hoarded
Beyond the room his till afforded.
His avarice aye growing ranker,
(Whereby his mind of course grew blanker,)
He was perplexed to choose a banker;
For banker he must have, he thought,
Or all his heap would come to nothing.
“I fear,” said he, “if kept at home,
And other robbers should not come,
It might be equal cause of grief
That I had proved myself the thief.”
The thief! Is to enjoy one’s pelf
To rob or steal it from one’s self?
My friend, could but my pity reach you,
This lesson I would gladly teach you,
That wealth is weal no longer than
Diffuse and part with it you can:
Without that power, it is a woe.
Would you for age keep back its flow?
Age buried “neath its joyless snow?
With pains of getting, care of got
Consumes the value, every jot,
Of gold that one can never spare.
To take the load of such a care,
Assistants were not very rare.
The earth was that which pleased him best.
Dismissing thought of all the rest,
He with his friend, his trustiest,—
A sort of shovel-secretary,—
Went forth his hoard to bury.
Safe done, a few days afterward,
The man must look beneath the sward—
When, what a mystery! behold
The mine exhausted of its gold!
Suspecting, with the best of cause,
His friend was privy to his loss,
He bade him, in a cautious mood,
To come as soon as well he could,
For still some other coins he had,
Which to the rest he wished to add.
Expecting thus to get the whole,
The friend put back the sum he stole,
Then came with all despatch.
The other proved an overmatch:
Resolved at length to save by spending,
His practice thus most wisely mending,
The total treasure home he carried—
No longer hoarded it or buried.
Chapfallen was the thief, when gone
He saw his prospects and his pawn.
From this it may be stated,
That knaves with ease are cheated.
The Burier And His Comrade – Jean de La Fontaine Fables – Book 10
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