The Oxen and the Butchers

by Aesop

These Butchers slaughter us with skillful hands and with no unnecessary pain.

THE OXEN, once upon a time, sought to destroy the Butchers, who practiced a trade destructive to their race. They assembled on a certain day to carry out their purpose, and sharpened their horns for the contest. One of them, an exceedingly old one (for many a field had he plowed), thus spoke: These Butchers, it is true, slaughter us, but they do so with skillful hands, and with no unnecessary pain. If we get rid of them, we shall fall into the hands of unskillful operators, and thus suffer a double death: for you may be assured, that, though all the Butchers should perish, yet will men never want beef.

Do not be in a hurry to change one evil for another.


Aesop's Fables
Copyright 1881
Translator: unknown
WM. L. Allison, New York
Illustrator: Harrison Weir, John Tenniel, Ernest Griset,