The Crow and The Sheep

The Crow bothered a Sheep who said a Dog would not have stood for the abuse. The Crow pointed out that he picked his targets just for that reason.

Pick your enemies.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A troublesome crow seated herself on the back of a Sheep. The Sheep, much against his will, carried her backward and forward for a long time, and at last said, “If you had treated a dog in this way, you would have had your deserts from his sharp teeth.” To this the Crow replied, “I despise the weak and yield to the strong. I know whom I may bully and whom I must flatter; and I thus prolong my life to a good old age.”

JBR CollectionJBR Collection (The Jackdaw and The Sheep)

A Jackdaw sat chattering upon the back of a Sheep. “Peace, you noisy thing!” said the Sheep. “lf I were a Dog, you would not serve me so.” “True,” replied the Jackdaw; ” I know that. I never meddle with the surly and revengeful, but I love to plague helpless creatures like you, that cannot do me any harm in return.”

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

There was a crow sat chattering upon the back of a sheep; Well! sirrah, says the sheep, you durst not ha’ done this to a dog. Why I know that says the crow as well as you can tell me, for I have the wit to consider whom I have to do withall. I can be as quiet as any body with those that are quarrelsome, and I can be as troublesome as another too, when I meet with those that will take it.


‘Tis the nature and the practice of drolls and buffoons, to be insolent toward those that will bear it, and as slavish to others that are more then their match.

1001Cornicula et Ovis

Cornicula strepitat in dorso oviculae. Ovis inquit, “Si obstreperes sic cani, ferres infortunium.” At cornicula inquit, “Scio quibus insultem: molesta placidis, amica saevis.”

Perry #553