Kriloff’s Original Fables
A blind Ass in a wood once lost his way
(He had been travelling far, they say),
And, when night came, stuck in a thicket
Whither he moved right, left, or back
To find a track,
Our Noodle could not nick it
Indeed, the best eyes there might well have been at fault. As luck would have it, an Owl had made a halt There, and to guide the Ass his promise plighted. All know that Owls by night grow more sharp-sighted : The ditches, steep descents, and every hill Our Owl distinguishes, as if ’twere day,
And by the morn has reached an easy way. How lose a guide that thus has shown his skill ? The Ass the Owl entreats to stay and help him still, Meaning with her to wend the wide world o’er. The Owl agrees on him to ride, And, as his mistress, sits on him with pride : The road they take again, is’t lucky as before ? Not quite : the sun no sooner o’er the skies Sheds his first beams, than in the Owl’s dazed eyes
Darker it grows than in the night.
The Owl though, obstinate, still thinks she’s right,
Trusts to her sight,
And leads the Ass across, aslant, and round
” Take care,” she cries, ” t’ th’ right are bogs ! ” No bog was there—the left hand worse was found,
” Another step to left, and we’ve safe ground ! ”
But, plump into a ravine the Owl-led Jackass jogs.
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