Two tame Geese joined a group of wild Geese. A Fox approached and all the Geese took wing. The tame, however, were not used to flying. Fox’s supper!
Be prepared for anything.
Two Geese strayed from a farmyard, and swam down a stream to a large morass, which afforded them an extensive range and plenty of food. A flock of Wild Geese frequently resorted to the same place; and though they were at first so shy as not to suffer the tame ones to join them, by degrees they became well acquainted and associated freely together. One evening their cackling reached the ears of a Fox that was prowling at no great distance from the morass. The artful plunderer directed his course through a wood on the borders of it, and was within a few yards of his prey before any of the Geese perceived him. But the alarm was given just as he was springing upon them, and the whole flock instantly ascended into the air, with loud and dissonant cries. The Wild Geese winged their flight into higher regions, and were seen no more; but the two tames [sic] ones, unused to soar, and accustomed to receive protection without any exertion of their own powers, soon dropped down, and became successively the victims of the Fox.
[Note: The Northcote fable is the same fable as in the JBR Collection above. Only the illustrations and Application associated with the fable in the Northcote book are displayed here.]
The faculties of every animal are impaired by disuse, and strengthened by exercise. And in man, the energy and versatility of the mind depend upon action no less than the vigour and agility of the body.
Thomas Bewick (The Wild and The Tame Geese)
A flock of Wild Geese and a parcel of Tame ones used often to feed together in a corn field. At last, the Owner of the corn, with his servants, coming upon them of a sudden, surprised them in the very fact, and the Tame Geese being heavy, and fat full-bodied creatures, were most of them sufferers; but the wild ones being thin and light, easily flew away.
When the enemy comes to make a seizure, they are sure to suffer most whose circumstances are the richest and fattest. In any case of persecution, money hangs like a dead weight about a man; and we never feel gold so heavy as when we are endeavouring to make off with it. Great wealth has many cares annexed to it, with which the poor and needy are not afflicted. A competency to supply the necessities of nature, and the wants of old age, is indeed to be desired; but we should rather endeavour to contract our wants, than to multiply them, and not too eagerly grasp at the augmentation of our possessions, which will increase our cares by adding to our danger. Persons of small fortune have as much reason to be contented as the rich: their situation is full as happy, considered altogether, for if they are deprived of some of the gratifications which the rich enjoy, they are also exempted from many troubles and uneasinesses necessarily cleaving to riches.