The Sick Stag

Visitors to a sick Stag each ate some of his food. The Stag died of hunger not illness.

Evil friends are no comfort.

A sick Stag lay in a corner of his pasture. His friends came to inquire about his health and each who came ate some of the food put there for the Stag. He eventually died, not from illness, but from lack of food.

Aesop For ChildrenAesop For Children

A Stag had fallen sick. He had just strength enough to gather some food and find a quiet clearing in the woods, where he lay down to wait until his strength should return. The Animals heard about the Stag’s illness and came to ask after his health. Of course, they were all hungry, and helped themselves freely to the Stag’s food; and as you would expect, the Stag soon starved to death.


Good will is worth nothing unless it is accompanied by good acts.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

A Stag, whose joints had become stiff with old age, was at great pains to get together a large heap of fodder–enough, as he thought, to last him for the remainder of his days. He stretched himself out upon it, and, now dozing, now nibbling, made up his mind to quietly wait for the end. He had always been of a gay and lively turn, and had made in his time many friends. These now came in great numbers to see him, and wish him farewell. While engaged in friendly talk over past adventures and old times, what more natural than that they should help themselves to a little of the food which seemed so plentifully stored around? The end of the matter was, that the poor Stag died not so much of sickness or of old age as for sheer want of the food which his friends had eaten for him.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A sick Stag lay down in a quiet corner of its pasture-ground. His companions came in great numbers to inquire after his health, and each one helped himself to a share of the food which had been placed for his use; so that he died, not from his sickness, but from the failure of the means of living.


Evil companions bring more hurt than profit.

1001Cervus et Amici Eius

Cervus, morbo correptus, in loco campestri procubuerat. Ferae autem, quae illum visitatum venerant, pabula quae strata fuerant cervo, devorarunt. Ut vero postea paululum convaluit cervus, inopia oppressus, vitam cum pabulo perdidit.


Haec fabula carpit eos qui nimios et stultos habent amicos, ex eis plus damni quam emolumenti capiunt.

Perry #305