The Swan, the Pike, and the Crab

When partners with each other don’t agree, Each project must a failure be,
And out of it no profit come, but sheer vexation.
A Swan, a Pike, and Crab once took their stat …

Kriloff’s Original Fables
When partners with each other don’t agree, Each project must a failure be,
And out of it no profit come, but sheer vexation.
A Swan, a Pike, and Crab once took their station In harness, and would drag a loaded cart
;
But, when the moment came for them to start, They sweat, they strain, and yet the cart stands still ; what’s
lacking ? The load must, as it seemed, have been but light
;
The Swan, though, to the clouds takes flight, The Pike into the water pulls, the Crab keeps backing.
Now which of them was right, which wrong, concerns us not
:
The cart is still upon the selfsame spot.
[Kenevitch admits that this fable has been very generally
attributed to misunderstandings among the members of the Council of State, but finding, as he says, no positive
proof, with his customary caution, he refuses to adopt the
explanation. To me it seems that the above application
is the simplest and most probable.]

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