The Wolves and the Sheep

Kriloff’s Original Fables
The Wolves once harassed so the Sheep,
That life to them unbearable became.
The rulers of the beasts at last, to keep
The Sheep from tyranny, announce their gracious aim ; And to that end a High Commission name.
‘Tis true, the members Wolves were for the most
;
But then, not every Wolf hath evil fame. There have been Wolves, and many too, they boast —Examples of it are not yet forgot

That by a sheepfold mildly passed, when they
Hungry were not. Then, why should Wolves not to Committees find their way?
Although, of course, Sheep must be well protected,
For that Wolves need not be oppressed, neglected,
A meeting was appointed in the wood
;
They reasoned, argued all they could,
And in the end bethought them of a law,
And here it is without a flaw
:
” Whene’er a Wolf doth riot in a fold, And dares affront a Sheep,
The Sheep shall seize him by the throat, and bold,
Be he of high rank, young or old,
Bring him unto the wood or wold
Where we our Court for instant justice keep.”
The law was just, nothing to change or add : Only I’ve seen that sheep—’tis sad ! Although the cry is, ” Wolves are now kept quiet—

Be they defendants, plaintiffs in a riot, Are still dragged off in gore By Wolves unto the wood, as ’twas of yore.
[This is one of the numerous fables in which Kriloff exposes the official tyranny over the peasants, and the
failure of the means adopted to protect them. Russian
” Commissions ” and ” Committees ” have only too often
led to the same lame results as our own, a formal shelving
of the question, and Kriloff never alludes to them without
a biting satire on their uselessness.]