The Man and the Serpent

This entry is part 61 of 84 in the series Aesop's Fables

A Countryman’s son by accident trod upon a Serpent’s tail, which turned and bit him so that he died. The father in a rage got his axe, and pursuing the Serpent, cut off part of its tail.

So the Serpent in revenge began stinging several of the Farmer’s cattle and caused him severe loss. Well, the Farmer thought it best to make it up with the Serpent, and brought food and honey to the mouth of its lair, and said to it: ‘Let’s forget and forgive; perhaps you were right to punish my son, and take vengeance on my cattle, but surely I was right in trying to revenge him; now that we are both satisfied why should not we be friends again?’ ‘No, no,’ said the Serpent; ‘take away your gifts; you can never forget the death of your son, nor I the loss of my tail.’

Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten.

The Man and the Serpent

Aesop

Aesop (c. 620 – 564 BCE) was a Greek fabulist and storyteller credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop's Fables. Although his existence remains unclear and no writings by him survive, numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day.

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