Friday, July 9, 2010

The Eagle, the Turtle and the Crow

The Eagle, the Turtle and the Crow. The eagle had snatched the turtle and flow with up high in the sky. The turtle had gathered herself inside her shell and the eagle could not find any means to break her open. The crow, who happened to be flying by, spoken the eagle's praises and said, "You are carrying an excellent prize, but unless you apply your wits, you will carry this burden in vain and your prize will not be of any use to you." Then eagle promised the crow a part of the prize for giving him some advice. So the crow offered this advice to the eagle: "Fly all the way to the stars and let your prize fall from on high down onto the rock, so that the turtle's shell will break and we will be able to feast on the food." Thanks to the crow's wicked advice, the turtle perished, whom Nature had armed with such a strong shell.

Aquila, Testudo et Corvus. Aquila Testudinem rapuit et alto caelo cum ea volavit; Testudo, intra se collectus, nullo pacto frangi potuit. Contra volans Cornix, verbis Aquilam laudans, "Optimam" inquit "fers praedam, sed nisi ingenio utaris, frustra portabis onus, nec utilis erit tibi haec praeda." Tunc Aquila illi partem praedae promisit ut illi consuleret. At Cornix tale dedit consilium et ait, "Usque ad astra volato et ab alto super petram praeda tua cadat, ut testa frangatur Testudinis, et nos esca fruemur." Hoc iniquo consilio Cornicis periit Testudo, quam Natura forti concha munierat.

Notes. This is Steinhowel 1.14, which is Perry 490 in Perry's classification scheme. Other versions of this fable emphasize that the crow tricks the eagle out of all the food, but that is not the main point of this version of the fable: in this version, the focus is on how the turtle, despite her impressive natural defenses, still falls victim to the wicked alliance of the eagle and the crow.

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