The Fables of Phædrus
One taught by experience is proverbially said to be more quick-witted than a wizard, but the reason is not told; which, now for the first time, shall be made known by my Fable.
The ewes of a certain Man who reared flocks, brought forth lambs with human heads. Dreadfully alarmed at the prodigy, he runs full of concern to the soothsayers. One answers that it bears reference to the life of the owner, and that the danger must be averted with a victim. Another, no wiser, affirms that it is meant that his wife is an adultress, and his children are spurious; but that it can be atoned for by a victim of greater age. Why enlarge? They all differ in opinions, and greatly aggravate the anxiety of the Man. Æsop being at hand, a sage of nice discernment, whom nature could never deceive by appearances, remarked:— “If you wish, Farmer, to take due precautions against this portent, find wives for your shepherds.”
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