The Traveller and the Raven

The New Fables—attributed to Phædrus
Men are very frequently imposed upon by words.
A Man while going through the fields along his solitary path, heard the word “Hail!” whereat he stopped for a moment, but seeing no one, went on his way. Again the same sound saluted him from a hidden spot; encouraged by the hospitable voice, he stopped short, that whoever it was might receive the like civility. When, looking all about, he had remained long in perplexity, and had lost the time in which he might have walked some miles, a Raven showed himself, and hovering above him, continually repeated “Hail!” Then, perceiving that he had been deluded: “Perdition seize you,” said he, “most mischievous bird, to have thus delayed me when I was in such a hurry.”