Aesop Fable VI – The Goatherd and the Wild Goats

“A Goatherd once took his goats out to pasture. When evening was coming on, he saw the wild goats mixed with his own, and he drove them all to the same cavern. On the next day there was a great winter storm, and since he was not able to lead them out to the accustomed pasturage, he looked after them inside, tossing out a moderate portion of food to his own goats so that they would not feel hungry, and heaping up even more for the wild ones so that he could make them his own. Once the storm stopped, he led them out to the pasture, and the wild goats took to the mountains and fled. When the Goatherd began to upbraid their ingratitude, for taking an excessive portion of his kindness yet still leaving him, they turned to him and said, ‘But we are even more on our guard for that very reason. For if you esteemed us, who came to you yesterday, above those who had long been with you, it is clear that if others were to come to you after us, you would esteem them more than us.’

This tale makes it clear that we should not receive gladly the friendship of those who esteem us as newcomers more than they esteem their old friends; we should understand that as we spend more time with them they will give their friendship to others whom they will prefer above us.”


αἰπόλος τὰς αἶγας αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ νομὴν ἀπελάσας ὡς ἐθεάσατο ἀγρίαις αὐτὰς ἀναμιγείσας, ἑσπέρας ἐπιλαβούσης πάσαςεἰς τὸ ἑαυτοῦ σπήλαιον εἰσήλασε. τῇ δὲ ὑστεραίᾳ χειμῶνος πολλοῦ γενομένου μὴ δυνάμενος ἐπὶ τὴν συνήθη νομὴν αὐτὰς παραγαγεῖν ἔνδον ἐτημέλει, ταῖς μὲν ἰδίαις μετρίαν τροφὴν παραβάλλων πρὸς μόνον τὸ μὴ  ιμώττειν, ταῖς δὲ ὀθνείαις πλείονα παρασωρεύων πρὸς τὸ καὶ αὐτὰς ἰδιοποιήσασθαι. παυσαμένου δὲ τοῦ χειμῶνος ἐπειδὴ πάσας ἐπὶ νομὴν ἐξήγαγεν, αἱ ἄγριαι ἐπιλαβόμεναι τῶν ὀρῶν ἔφευγον. τοῦ δὲ ποιμένος ἀχαριστίαν αὐτῶν κατηγοροῦντος, εἴ γε περισσοτέρας αὐταὶ τημελείας ἐπιτυχοῦσαι καταλείπουσιν αὐτόν, ἔφασαν ἐπιστραφεῖσαι· „ἀλλὰ δι’ αὐτὸ τοῦτο μᾶλλονφυλαττόμεθα· εἰ γὰρ ἡμᾶς τὰς χθὲς προσεληλυθυίας μειζό-νως τῶν πάλαι σὺ προετίμησας, δῆλον ὅτι, εἰ καὶ ἕτεραί σοι μετὰ ταῦτα προσπελάσουσιν, ἐκείνας ἡμῶν προκρινεῖς.”

     ὁ λόγος δηλοῖ μὴ δεῖν τούτων ἀσμενίζεσθαι τὰς φιλίας, οἳ τῶν παλαιῶν φίλων ἡμᾶς τοὺς προσφάτους προτιμῶσι, λογιζομένους, ὅτι καί, ἂν ἡμῶν ἐγχρονιζόντων ἑτέροις φιλιάσωσιν, ἐκείνους προκρινοῦσιν.


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