The Wolves and The Sheep

Wolves convinced the Sheep they would be better off without the guard Dogs which they dismissed. Should not have done that; the Sheep are now eaten.

A foolish peace is more destructive than a bloody war.

The Wolves approached the Sheep with a proposal of peace. “The Dogs always bark on our approach and attack us even while we have done you no harm. Just dismiss them and we can live in peace.” The Sheep were taken in by the proposal and sent the Dogs away. Upon this, the Wolves made supper of the Sheep.

Aesop For ChildrenAesop For Children

A pack of Wolves lurked near the Sheep pasture. But the Dogs kept them all at a respectful distance, and the Sheep grazed in perfect safety. But now the Wolves thought of a plan to trick the Sheep.

“Why is there always this hostility between us?” they said. “If it were not for those Dogs who are always stirring up trouble, I am sure we should get along beautifully. Send them away and you will see what good friends we shall become.”

The Sheep were easily fooled. They persuaded the Dogs to go away, and that very evening the Wolves had the grandest feast of their lives.


Do not give up friends for foes.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

“Why should there always be this fear and slaughter between us?” said the Wolves to the Sheep. “Those evil-disposed Dogs have much to answer for. They always bark whenever we approach you and attack us before we have done any harm. If you would only dismiss them from your heels, there might soon be treaties of peace and reconciliation between us.” The Sheep, poor silly creatures, were easily beguiled and dismissed the Dogs, whereupon the Wolves destroyed the unguarded flock at their own pleasure.

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version (A League Betwixt The Wolves and The Sheep)

There was a time when the sheep were so hardy as to wage war with the wolves; and so long as they had the dogs for their allies, they were, upon all encounters, at least a match for their enemies. Upon this consideration, the wolves sent their ambassadors to the sheep, to treat about a peace, and in the mean time there were hostages given on both sides; the dogs on the part of the sheep, and the wolves whelps on the other part, ’till matters might be brought to an issue. While they were upon treaty, the whelps fell a howling; the wolves cryed out treason; and pretending an infraction in the abuse of their hostages, fell upon the sheep immediately without their dogs, and made them pay for the improvidence of leaving themselves without a guard.


‘Tis senseless to the highest degree to think of establishing an alliance among those that nature her self has divided, by an inconciliable disagreement. Beside, that a foolish peace is much more destructive than a bloody war.

[See also the similar fable The Wolves and Sheep.]

Perry #153