Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Phaedrus - 41 AD

Translated into English
  by C. Smart - 1887

Source: The Fables of Phaedrus

Original title (Latin):
Serpens ad Fabrum Ferrarium

Country of origin: Italy


English - aligned

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The Viper and the File

Phaedrus / C. Smart

He that a greater biter bites,
His folly on himself requites,
As we shall manifest forthwith.-
There was a hovel of a smith,
Where a poor Viper chanced to steal,
And being greedy of a meal,
When she had seized upon a file,
Was answer'd in this rugged style:
" Why do you think, 0 stupid snake!
On me your usual meal to make,
Who've sharper teeth than thine by far,
And can corrode an iron bar ?"