The Thrush and The Fowler

A Thrush, seeking food, stayed too long on a branch as was caught even when it knew better.

Men feel worst when they contribute to their own undoing.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A thrush was feeding on a myrtle-tree and did not move from it because its berries were so delicious. A Fowler observed her staying so long in one spot, and having well bird-limed his reeds, caught her. The Thrush, being at the point of death, exclaimed, “O foolish creature that I am! For the sake of a little pleasant food I have deprived myself of my life.”

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version (A Thrush Taken With Birdlime)

It was the fortune of a poor thrush, among other birds, to be taken with a bush of lime-twigs, and the miserable creature reflecting upon it, that the chief ingredient in the birdlime came out of her own guts: I am not half so much troubled, says the thrush, at the thought of dying, as at the fatality of contributing to my own ruine.


Nothing goes nearer a man in his misfortunes, then to find himself undone by his own folly, or but any way accessory to his own ruine.

1001Passer in Myrto Degens

Passerculus quidam degebat in myrto; captusque amoenitate arboris, numquam inde recedebat. Auceps vero, qui illi fuerat insidiatus, correptum volebat interficere. Passerculus autem, neci proximus, ita locutus fertur, “Heu misero mihi, cui ciborum dulcedo attulit necem.”

Perry #086