The Swine – Jataka Tales

Kriloff’s Original Fables
Over a squire’s grounds by chance a Swine once strolled : The dunghill and the dustbin saw him grubbing
;
The stable-walls and kitchen got a scrubbing
To ease his itch ; Into each pool of filth, till sick of it, he rolled, Up to his ears with every wallowing pitch
;
Till home, bespotted,
A very swine of swine he trotted.
” Well what, old Grunter, was there to reward thee ? ” A ploughboy asked our Pig : ” ‘Tis said in houses big
Our rich men all in beads and pearls outrig
;
The sight, then, of such riches can’t have bored thee ? ”
The Swine with grunt : ” What rubbish men will say !
I saw no sign of all the wealth that awed thee,
Dunghills and filth alone stopped up the way
;
And, if I’m right, unsparing of my snout,
I routed out The whole backyard to-day.”
God knows I don’t compare ; ‘twould make some mad !
But, how not say a critic is a swine,
Who, whatsoe’er he judge, in every line Has but the gift of seeing all that’s bad.
[Kenevitch remarks of a contemporary critic, one
Katchenovsky, who fiercely attacked what he called ” a
swinish story ” as contrary to, a supposed law of poetry,
to deal only with the noble and elevated, that he pro- bably felt himself indicated by the moral of the fable.]