The Wasps, Partridges, and The Farmer

Wasps and Partridges asked a Farmer for water and promised doing tasks in return. The Farmer said his Oxen do that work already so he would water them.

Charity begins at home, but this does not prevent the further exercise of it.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

The wasps and the Partridges, overcome with thirst, came to a Farmer and besought him to give them some water to drink. They promised amply to repay him the favor which they asked. The Partridges declared that they would dig around his vines and make them produce finer grapes. The Wasps said that they would keep guard and drive off thieves with their stings. But the Farmer interrupted them, saying: “I have already two oxen, who, without making any promises, do all these things. It is surely better for me to give the water to them than to you.”

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

A flight of wasps, and a covy of partridges that were hard put to’t for water, went to a farmer, and begg’d a soup of him to quench their thirst. The partridges offer’d to dig his vineyard for’t, and the wasps to secure him from thieves. Pray hold your hand, says the good man; I have oxen and dogs that do me these offices already, without standing upon terms. And therefore it will become me to provide for them in the first place.


Charity begins at home, but the necessary duty of it in one place, does not discharge the christian exercise of it in another.

1001Perdices et Vespae

Vespae atque perdices, siti olim correptae, ad agricolam quemdam se contulere et, ab eo potum petentes, summas illi pro potu gratias se relaturas pollicitae sunt, perdices quidem vineas fodere ac racemos pulcherrimos reddere, vespae vero, arva circumeundo, suis aculeis fures abigere. At rusticus “Duos,” inquit, “boves habeo, qui licet nihil promittant, omnia tamen mihi optime praestant. Potum itaque praebere melius est illis quam vobis.”

Perry #215