The Eagle and His Captor

An Eagle was caught and had his wings clipped. A neighbor bought the Eagle and let his wings grow out. A Fox cautioned the Eagle about paying tribute.

Favor those who do you kindness.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

An eagle was once captured by a man, who immediately clipped his wings and put him into his poultry-yard with the other birds, at which treatment the Eagle was weighed down with grief. Later, another neighbor purchased him and allowed his feathers to grow again. The Eagle took flight, and pouncing upon a hare, brought it at once as an offering to his benefactor. A Fox, seeing this, exclaimed, “Do not cultivate the favor of this man, but of your former owner, lest he should again hunt for you and deprive you a second time of your wings.”

JBR CollectionJBR Collection (The Eagle and The Man)

A Man caught an Eagle in a snare. He cut his wings close, and kept him chained to a stump in his yard. A kind-hearted Fowler, seeing the melancholy-looking bird, took pity on him, and bought him. He was now well treated, and his wings were allowed to grow. When they had grown again sufficiently for him to fly, the Fowler gave him his liberty. The first thing the Bird caught was a fine fat Hare, which he brought and gratefully laid at the feet of his benefactor. A Fox, looking on, said that he would have done better to try to make friends with the first Man who had caught him, and who might perhaps catch him yet again, rather than with the second, from whom he had nothing to fear. “Your advice may do very well for a Fox,” replied the Eagle; “but it is my nature to serve those who have been kind to me, and to let those who choose be governed by fear.”

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

A man took an eagle, pelted her wings, and put her among his hens. Somebody came and bought this eagle, and presently new feather’d her. She made a flight at a hare, truss‘d it, and brought it to her benefactor. A fox perceiving this, came and gave the man a piece of good councell. Have a care, says Reynard, of putting too much confidence in this eagle; for she’ll go neare, one time or other else, to take you for a hare. Upon this advice the man plum’d the eagle once again.


Persons and humours may be jumbled and disguis’d, but nature is like quicksilver, that will never be kill’d.

[Note: This combination shows how translations may vary. These were from the same original but the two of the translations relate two completely different fates for the eagle.]

1001Aquila, Pennis Avulsis

Aquilam olim cum quidam cepisset, ei statim alarum pennas avulsit domique in gallinarum numerum aggregavit. Qua illa calamitate perterrita, magno dolore premebatur. Deinde vero cum eam quidam alius emisset, ut ei pennae renascerentur continuo curavit. Tunc aquila volans leporem cepit atque ei statim, a quo tale beneficium receperat, dono obtulit. Quod vulpes cum vidisset, “Primo potius,” inquit, “hospitalia haec munera, non isti feras moneo, ne nimirum te iterum capiat, rursusque pennas evellat.”

Perry #275