The Kid and Wolf

A Kid about to be eaten by a Wolf asked the Wolf to play to tune so he could dance. Wolf complied and hounds heard the music and came to chase the Wolf.

Don’t do things that make you forget your original purpose.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A kid, returning without protection from the pasture, was pursued by a Wolf. Seeing he could not escape, he turned round, and said: “I know, friend Wolf, that I must be your prey, but before I die I would ask of you one favor you will play me a tune to which I may dance.” The Wolf complied, and while he was piping and the Kid was dancing, some hounds hearing the sound ran up and began chasing the Wolf. Turning to the Kid, he said, “It is just what I deserve; for I, who am only a butcher, should not have turned piper to please you.”

Aesop For ChildrenAesop For Children (The Wolf and The Kid)

Wolf and Kid

Milo Winter (1919)

There was once a little Kid whose growing horns made him think he was a grown-up Billy Goat and able to take care of himself. So one evening when the flock started home from the pasture and his mother called, the Kid paid no heed and kept right on nibbling the tender grass. A little later when he lifted his head, the flock was gone.

He was all alone. The sun was sinking. Long shadows came creeping over the ground. A chilly little wind came creeping with them making scary noises in the grass. The Kid shivered as he thought of the terrible Wolf. Then he started wildly over the field, bleating for his mother. But not half-way, near a clump of trees, there was the Wolf!

The Kid knew there was little hope for him.

“Please, Mr. Wolf,” he said trembling, “I know you are going to eat me. But first please pipe me a tune, for I want to dance and be merry as long as I can.”

The Wolf liked the idea of a little music before eating, so he struck up a merry tune and the Kid leaped and frisked gaily.

Meanwhile, the flock was moving slowly homeward. In the still evening air the Wolf’s piping carried far. The Shepherd Dogs pricked up their ears. They recognized the song the Wolf sings before a feast, and in a moment they were racing back to the pasture. The Wolf’s song ended suddenly, and as he ran, with the Dogs at his heels, he called himself a fool for turning piper to please a Kid, when he should have stuck to his butcher’s trade.


Do not let anything turn you from your purpose.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

A Wolf spied a Kid that had strayed to a distance from the herd, and pursued him. The Kid, finding that he could not escape, waited till the Wolf came up, and then assuming a cheerful tone, said, “I see clearly enough that I must be eaten, but I would fain die as pleasantly as I could. Give me, therefore, a few notes of your pipe before I go to destruction.” It seems that the Wolf was of a musical turn, and always carried his pipe with him. The Wolf played and the Kid danced, and the noise of the pipe brought the Dogs to the spot. The Wolf made off, saying, “This is what comes when people will go meddling out of their profession. My business was to play the butcher, not the piper.”

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

A wolfe spy’d out a straggling kid, and pursu’d him. The kid found that the wolfe was too nimble for him, and so turn’d and told him: I perceive I am to be eaten, and I would gladly die as pleasantly as I could: wherefore, pray give me but one touch of your pipe before I go to pot. The wolfe play’d, and the kid danc’d, and the noise of the pipe brought in the dogs upon him. Well (says the wolfe) this ’tis when people will be meddling out of their profession. My bus’ness was to play the butcher, not the piper.


When a crafty knave is infatuated, any silly wretch may put tricks upon him.

1001Haedus Saltans et Lupus

Haedus a grege aberraverat; hunc lupus visum insequi coepit. Qui cum intellegeret se viribus suis malum effugere non posse, callidum consilium iniit et, ad lupum conversus, “Mi lupe,” inquit, “video me futurum esse cibum tuum. Tu tamen ne gravere, parva in re, benigne mihi facere et, quo iucundius finiam vitam, prius carmen aliquod accinito, ad quod saltando exhilarer. Ita etiam caruncula mea suavior erit.” Statuit morem gerere lupus haedo et alta voce edit ululatum. Quo audito, canes accurrunt; tum relicto lupus haedo fugam faciebat. “Sed enim iure,” inquit, “hoc mihi evenit. Me enim qui coquus esse debueram, cantorem agere non oportuit.”

Perry #097