The Robber and the Carter

Kriloff’s Original Fables
Under a bush, beside a highway lay
A Robber once, awaiting there his prey : ‘Twas evening : like a bear from out his den,
He sullen peeped at all within his ken.
Presently came a rolling cart that way.
” Ho, ho !” our Robber mutters, “that’s a lot Bound for the fair; cloth, sure, and worked with gold
:
Enough to fig one out.—Alive, Jack ! Bold ! This time at least you’ve something got
For all your pains.”
Meanwhile the cart drew nearer. ” Stand !

The Robber cried, and with his club in hand
He fell upon the Carter. But, if our thief was smart, the other p’r’aps was smarter.
It was no child that gave him blow for blow,
But a brave man, who fought ere he’d let go
His wares. Long and severe the struggle, in which fares Our hero badly ; half his teeth knocked out, A wrist sprained, and an eye less from a clout
:
Yet, in the end his murderous will Prevails—he doth the carter kill.
Kills him—and now, the prize of skill To seize, he hurries to the cart. What’s there ?—A load of bladders piled with art
!
How much of crime and wickedness on earth Committed is for things of trifling worth !