The Peasant and the Sheep

Kriloff’s Original Fables
A Peasant once brought up, before the Court For cases criminal, a Sheep—denial

The fox is judge—roundly goes on the trial. Directions to defendant, plaintiff short
To speak well to the point, and leave all shouting,
Give facts, and proofs beyond all doubting.
The Peasant speaks : ” One morning, such a date,
Two fowls were missing from the poultry yard,
Their bones and feathers only left to guard
And near them this same Sheep alone did wait.” The Sheep speaks next : she’d slept throughout the
And all the neighbours called, to witness she was right,
And that not one had ever known her bleat For what she stole, No trickery in her soul
Adding to this, she ne’er ate poulterer’s meat. The fox’s sentence thus went, clear and neat
All pleading from a sheep to set aside
To save delay, at once decide

All sheep were well known rogues and clever
On the said night, the evidence made clear, The Sheep unto the fowls throughout was near, And fowls taste well as ever

The hour and place both suited : ” Therefore I say, upon my conscience well reputed,
It cannot be the Sheep was such an owl,
As not to eat the fowl
All this considered well, the Sheep’s death I decree,
The flesh the Court to have, the skin the plaintiff’s be.”
[This is a bitter satire on the administration of justice to the Peasants; all through Kriloffs fables the latter are continually represented by sheep.]

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