The Shepherd and the Sea

by Aesop

He was seized with a strong desire to sail over the sea.

A SHEPHERD moved down his flock to feed near the shore, and beholding the sea lying in a smooth calm, he was seized with a strong desire to sail over it. So he sold all of his sheep and bought a cargo of dates, and loaded a vessel, and set sail. He had not gone far when a storm arose; his ship was wrecked, and his dates and everything lost, and he himself with difficulty escaped to land. Not long after, when the sea was again calm, and one of his friends came up to him and was admiring its repose, he said: Have a care, my good fellow, of that smooth surface, it is only looking out for your dates.


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