Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Aesop

Translated into English
  by Ambrose Bierce - 1899

Based on Γεωργὸς καὶ ὄφις ὑπὸ κρύους πεπηγώς

Country of origin: Greece


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The Man and the Viper

Aesop / Ambrose Bierce

A Man finding a frozen Viper put it into his bosom.

“The coldness of the human heart,” he said, with a grin, “will keep the creature in his present condition until I can reach home and revive him on the coals.”

But the pleasures of hope so fired his heart that the Viper thawed, and sliding to the ground thanked the Man civilly for his hospitality and glided away.