The Farmer’s Wife and The Raven

A Farmer’s Wife was taking a load of eggs to market. A Raven was seen and the horse stumbled crushing the eggs. She blamed the Raven but he said: No.

Plan ahead for all contingencies.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

Between her swagging panniers’ load
A Farmer’s Wife to market rode,
And jogging on, with thoughtful care,
Summed up the profits of her ware;
When starting from her silver dream,
Thus far and wide was heard her scream:
“That Raven on yon left-hand oak
(Curse on his ill-betiding croak)
Bodes me no good.” No more she said,
When poor blind Ball, with stumbling head,
Fell prone; o’erturned the panniers lay,
And her mashed eggs bestrewed the way.
She, sprawling in the yellow road,
Railed, cursed, and swore: “Thou croaking toad,
A murrain take thy noisy throat!
I knew misfortune in the note.”
“Dame,” quoth the Raven, “spare your oaths,
Unclench your fist, and wipe your clothes.
But why on me those curses thrown?
Goody, the fault was all your own;
For had you laid this brittle ware
On Dun, the old sure-footed mare,
Though all the Ravens of the hundred
With croaking had your tongue out-thundered,
Sure-footed Dun had kept her legs,
And you, good woman, saved your eggs.”

[Note: This fable is similar to The Milkmaid and Her Pail.]