The Hart and The Vine

Do not mistreat those who help you. A Hart (stag) hides from hunters in vines. The Hart starts to nibble on the vines and gives himself away. Too bad.

Do not mistreat those who help you.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A hart, hard pressed in the chase, hid himself beneath the large leaves of a Vine. The huntsmen, in their haste, overshot the place of his concealment. Supposing all danger to have passed, the Hart began to nibble the tendrils of the Vine. One of the huntsmen, attracted by the rustling of the leaves, looked back, and seeing the Hart, shot an arrow from his bow and struck it. The Hart, at the point of death, groaned: “I am rightly served, for I should not have maltreated the Vine that saved me.”

[Note: This fable is basically the same as The Goat and The Vine except for the animal involved.]

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

A Hart being hard pursued by the hunters, hid himself under the broad leaves of a shady, spreading Vine. When the hunters had gone by, and given him over for lost, he thought himself quite secure, and began to crop and eat the leaves of the Vine. The rustling of the branches drew the eyes of the hunters that way, and they shot their arrows there at a venture, and killed the Hart. In dying, he admitted that he deserved his fate, for his ingratitude in destroying the friend who had so kindly sheltered him in
time of danger.

Crane Poetry VisualCrane Poetry Visual


Hart and Vine

A Hart by the hunters pursued,
Sadly hid in a Vine, till he chewed
The sweet tender green,
And, through shaking leaves seen,
He was slain by his ingratitude.

Spare your benefactors.

1001Cervus et Vitis

Fugiens venatores, cerva sub vite latebat. Mox frondibus vitis vesci incepit. Ramos vero agitatos venatores videntes, sagittis cervam confecere. Moriens ait, “Haec merito patior, quia viti bene facienti nocebam.”

Perry #077