The Shepherd and The Sheep

A Shepherd put his cloak on the ground and shook acorns on it for his sheep. The sheep ate the acorns and tore the cloak. Shepherd was not happy.

An appetite blinds men to their surrounds.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A shepherd driving his Sheep to a wood, saw an oak of unusual size full of acorns, and spreading his cloak under the branches, he climbed up into the tree and shook them down. The Sheep eating the acorns inadvertently frayed and tore the cloak. When the Shepherd came down and saw what was done, he said, “O you most ungrateful creatures! You provide wool to make garments for all other men, but you destroy the clothes of him who feeds you.”

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

In old time when sheep fed like hogs upon acorns, a shepherd drove his flock into a little oak-wood, spread his coat under a tree, and up he went to shake ’em down some mast. The sheep were so keen upon the acorns, that they gobbled up now and then a piece of the coat along with ’em. When the shepherd took notice of it: What a company of ungrateful wretches are you, says he, that cloath all other people that have no relation to you, and yet strip your master, that gives ye both food and protection!


The belly has no ears; and a ravenous appetite guttles up whatever is before it, without any regard either to things or persons.

1001Pastor, Vestis Eius, et Oves

Egerat pastor oves in quercetum ibi, strato sub arbore vestimento suo, conscendit illam et decutere coepit glandes. Ad quas accurrentes oves, dum illas mandunt, etiam vestem pastoris dilacerant. Qui, cum de arbore postea descendisset et cognovisset damnum quod interea fecerant, “Improbissimae,” inquit, “animantes! Vos aliis ad vestitum lanam suppeditatis; mihi vero, qui vos pasco, meam vestem diripuistis.”

Perry #208