An Ostrich, Birds, and Beasts

The Ostrich appears as both bird and beast. To the birds he showed his wings and beak; to the beasts he showed feet. After, both accepted him.

Sometimes a half-truth is necessary.

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

The estriche is a creature that passes in common reputation, for half-bird, half-beast. This amphibious wretch happen’d to be taken twice the same day, in a battel betwixt the birds and the beasts, and as an enemy to both parties. The birds would have him to be a beast, and the beasts concluded him to be a bird; but upon shewing his feet to prove that he was no bird, and upon shewing his wings, and his beak, to prove that he was no beast, they were satisfy’d upon the whole matter, that though he seem’d to be both, he was yet in truth neither the one, nor the other.


 Trimming in some cases, is foul, and dishonest; in others, laudable; and in some again, not only honest, but necessary. The nicety lies in the skill of distinguishing upon cases, times, and degrees.

1001Struthiocamelus Perfidus

Struthiocamelus avis in Africa est, paene bestia, bipes quidem illa, sed ungulis similibus cervorum. Eadem alas habet, sed supra terram non elevatur. Quodam igitur tempore, cum bellum gravissimum esset inter volucres et bestias, capta haec a bestiis, ut avis pro hoste habebatur. At illa, pedes ostendens, num avis illis videretur interrogabat. Itaque, deceptis bestiis, tanquam civis, tuta apud illas fuit. Paulo post in proelio capta ab avibus, avem se esse alis et rostro probavit. Ita et his imposuit.


Fabula notat eos qui diversis inserviunt quasi dominis, et tam hos quam illos frustrantur.

Perry #418