Kriloff’s Original Fables
In Shepherd Stephen’s flock (he kept his master’s sheep)
The animals once took to dying.
Our smart boy, sighing,
Laments, nay, almost he will weep
He goes about, relating unto all That on his flock too oft did fall A dreadful wolf, it dragged the sheep from fold, And pitilessly tore them.
” And no great wonder,” say both young and old, ” When was’t that wolves no hatred bore them ? ”
The wolf they try to catch and slay.
But, how is it that Stephen puts away
Now mutton broth, now ribs of sheep with rice ? (He’d been a town cook once, and, for his sins, Now in a village bread he wins : But in his eating still was nice.)
The wolf they hunt ; if they could only find him ! But in the wood the wolf no trace hath left behind him. Time waste not, friends ! The wolf you blame, and
‘Twas Stephen that the sheep up ate.
[There is a Russian proverb, almost in the very words
of the concluding lines.]
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