Tyrants need no excuse. A Wolf records a Lamb by a river and argues to justify death it. Doesn’t matter as the Wolf needs no excuse.

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Tyrants need no excuse.


Eliot/Jacobs Version

A wolf was drink at a feather on a hillside. Top top looking up he witnessed a Lamb just beginning to drink lower down. “There’s my supper,” assumed he, “if just I can discover some excuse come seize it.” He referred to as out to the Lamb, “How dare you muddle my drinking water?”

“No,” said the Lamb; “if the water is muddy increase there, ns cannot it is in the reason of it, because that it runs down from you to me.”

“Well, then,” said the Wolf, “why walk you contact me bad names this time last year?”

“That cannot be,” said the Lamb; “I am only six month old.”

“I nothing care,” snarled the Wolf; “if the was no you, the was your father;” and with that he rushed upon the poor little Lamb and ate her all up.



Design: Randolph Caldecott, Engraving: J.D. Cooper, 1883

A wolf seeing a Lamb drink at a brook, took it into his head that he would find some plausible excuse for eating him. For this reason he drew near, and, standing greater up the stream, began to accuse him of disturbing the water and preventing him from drinking.

The Lamb replied that he was just touching the water v the tips of his lips; and also that, besides, seeing that he was standing under stream, he might not maybe be disturbing the water higher up. So the Wolf, having done no good by the accusation, said: “Well, yet last year friend insulted my Father.” The Lamb replying the at that time he was no born, the wolf wound up by saying: “However ready you may be v your answers, i shall none the much less make a enjoy the meal of you.”

Design: Randolph Caldecott, Engraving: J.D. Cooper, 1883
Courtesy the Jon Wilkins

Aesop for Children

Milo Winter (1919)

A stray Lamb stood drinking beforehand one morning ~ above the bank of a forest stream. That very same morning a hungry wolf came by farther up the stream, hunting for something come eat. The soon obtained his eye on the Lamb. Together a dominance Mr. Wolf snapped up together delicious morsels without making any type of bones around it, but this Lamb looked so really helpless and also innocent the the wolf felt that ought to have actually some type of one excuse for acquisition its life.

“How challenge you paddle approximately in my stream and stir up every the mud!” he shouted fiercely. “You deserve to it is in punished severely for her rashness!”

“But, her highness,” replied the tremble Lamb, “do not be angry! ns cannot perhaps muddy the water you room drinking increase there. Remember, you space upstream and also I to be downstream.”

“You do muddy it!” retorted the wolf savagely. “And besides, I have heard the you called lies around me critical year!”

“How might I have actually done so?” pleaded the Lamb. “I wasn’t born until this year.”

“If it wasn’t you, the was her brother!”

“I have no brothers.”

“Well, then,” snarled the Wolf, “It to be someone in your family anyway. But no matter who it was, I execute not intend to be talked the end of mine breakfast.”

And without more words the wolf seized the negative Lamb and carried she off come the forest.


The tyrant can always find one excuse because that his tyranny.

The unjust will not listen to the thinking of the innocent.



A WOLF and lamb when chanced to meetBeside a stream, whose waters sweetBrought various kinds the beasts together,When dry and also sultry was the weather;Now though the wolf came there to drink,Of eating he started to think,As shortly as near the lamb the came,And straight fixed to death the same;Yet assumed it much better to beginWith threat’ning words and also angry mien.

“And so,” claimed he to him below,“How challenge you line the water so?Making the cool refresh floodAs brown together beer, and thick together mud.”

“Sir,” said the lamb, “that cannot be,The water flows from you to me;So, ’tis impossible, i think,That what i do can spoil your drink.”

“I say it does, you saucy puss:How challenge you contradict me thus?But more than this, girlfriend idle clack,You rail’d at me behind mine backTwo years ago, I have actually been told;”“How so? I’m no a twelvemonth old,”The lamb replied; “so i suspectYour honour is not rather correct.”

“If not, your mommy it have to be,And that is all the same to me,”Rejoin’d the wolf—who waited not,But kill’d and also ate him on the spot.

Some, favor the wolf, embrace the planTo do a quarrel if they can;But none through you can hold disputeIf you determined to be mute;For sure this proverb have to be true,That ev’ry quarrel must have actually two.

ONE hot, sultry day, a Wolf and also a Lamb taken place to come, just at the exact same time, to quench your thirst in the currently of a clear silver brook, that ran tumbling under the next of a rocky mountain. The wolf stood ~ above the higher ground; and also the Lamb at part distance native him under the current. However, the Wolf, having actually a mind to choose a quarrel v him, asked him, What he intended by mental the water, and making the so muddy that he could not drink; and, at the exact same time request satisfaction. The Lamb, frightened in ~ this threatening charge, told him, in a tone together mild together possible, That, v humble submission, he could not develop how that can be; due to the fact that the water which that drank ran under from the wolf to him, and therefore it could not it is in disturbed so far up the stream. Be that together it will, replies the Wolf, you are a rascal, and I have been told that you cure me v ill language behind my back, about fifty percent a year ago. Upon mine word claims the Lamb, the moment you mention was before I to be born. The Wolf, finding it to no objective to argue any type of longer against truth, dropped into a an excellent passion, snarling and foaming at the mouth, as if he had been mad; and also drawing nearer come the Lamb, Sirrah, states he, if it was not you that was her father, and that’s all one.—So the seized the poor, innocent, helpless thing, tore it come pieces, and also made a enjoy the meal of it.


The thing which is pointed in ~ in this fable is so obvious, the it will be impertinent to multiply words around it. As soon as a cruel, ill-natured man has a mind to abuse one worse to himself, one of two people in power or courage, despite he has not given the least occasion because that it, exactly how does he resemble the Wolf! whose envious, rapacious temper can not bear to watch innocence live quietly in its neighbourhood. In short, wherever ill world are in power, innocence and integrity space sure to it is in persecuted; the much more vicious the community is, the much better countenance they have for their own villanous measures: come practise honesty, in poor times, is gift liable to apprehension enough; however if any one have to dare to prescribe it, it is ten come one however he would be impeached of high crimes and misdemeanors: for, to wake up for righteousness in a degenerate and also corrupt state, is tacitly come upbraid the government; and also seldom stops working of pulling down vengeance ~ above the head of him that offers to row in its defence. Wherein cruelty and malice space in mix with power, nothing is so easy as for them to uncover a pretence to tyrannize over innocence, and also exercise every manner of injustice.

One warm sultry day, a Wolf and a Lamb occurred to come just at the exact same time, to quench your thirst in the currently of a brook that dropped tumbling down the next of a rocky mountain. The wolf stood upon the greater ground, and also the Lamb at some distance listed below him. However, the Wolf, having actually a mental to choose a quarrel v the Lamb, asked the what he meant by disturbing the water, and also making the so muddy that he might not drink? and, in ~ the exact same time, demanded satisfaction. The Lamb, frightened at this threatening charge, called him, in a tone together mild as possible, that with humble submission, he could not develop how that could be, because the water which that drank ran under from the wolf to him, and therefore could not it is in disturbed so far up the stream. It is in that as it may, replies the Wolf, you room a rascal, and I have actually been told the you offered ill language concerning me behind my back, about fifty percent a year ago. Upon mine word, claims the Lamb, the time you point out was prior to I was born. The Wolf, finding it to no purpose to argue any longer against truth, fell into a great passion, snarling and also foaming at the mouth together if he had actually been mad; and drawing nearer come the Lamb, Sirrah, says he, if the were not you, that was your father, and that is the same. For this reason he seized the poor innocent helpless thing, tore it to pieces, and also made a meal of it.


Where'er be oppressive rules, dropped Wolves devour; and the worst crimes are want that strength and pow'r.They who carry out not feel the sentiments of humanity, will hardly ever listen to the voice the reason; and when cruelty and also injustice are armed with power, and determined top top oppression, the the strongest pleas that innocence are desired in vain, and also nothing is an ext easy 보다 finding pretences to criminate the unsuspecting victims of tyranny. How countless of the degenerate, corrupt, and arbitrary governments with which the civilized people has been disfigured, have worked out their vengeance top top the honest and also virtuous, who have actually dared in poor times to speak the truth; and also how many men in personal life room to it is in met with, whose wolfish dispositions, and envious and also rapacious tempers cannot bear come see honest industry behind its head!

Townsend Version

Wolf, meeting v a Lamb astray native the fold, solved not to lay violent hand on him, yet to discover some plea to justification to the Lamb the Wolf’s best to eat him. He thus addressed him: “Sir, critical year friend grossly insulted me.” “Indeed,” bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone of voice, “I was no then born.” Then stated the Wolf, “You feeding in my pasture.” “No, good sir,” replied the Lamb, “I have actually not however tasted grass.” Again claimed the Wolf, “You drink of mine well.” “No,” exclaimed the Lamb, “I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother’s milk is both food and drink to me.” ~ above which the wolf seized him and also ate that up, saying, “Well! ns won’t continue to be supperless, even though friend refute every one of my imputations.”


The tyrant will constantly find a pretext because that his tyranny.

A hungry Wolf one day saw a Lamb drinking at a stream, and wished to frame some plausible excuse because that making him his prey. “What perform you typical by muddling the water ns am going come drink?” fiercely said he come the Lamb. “Pray pardon me,” meekly answered the Lamb; “I have to be sorry in any way to displease you, however as the stream operation from you in the direction of me, you will check out that together cannot be the case.” “That’s all very well,” stated the Wolf; “but you know you spoke ill the me behind my earlier a year ago.” “Nay, believe me,” replied the Lamb, “I was no then born.” “It must have been your brother then,” growled the Wolf. “It cannot have been, for ns never had actually any,” answer the Lamb. “I recognize it was among your lot,” rejoined the Wolf, “so make no more such idle excuses.” He then seized the negative Lamb, lugged him turn off to the woods, and ate him.

L’Estrange Version

As a wolf was lapping in ~ the head that a fountain, that spy’d a lamb, paddling at the exact same time, a great way off under the stream. The wolf had no sooner the food in his eye, however away he operation open-mouth to’t. Rogue (says he), how dare you lye muddling the water the I’m a drinking? Indeed, says the negative lamb, ns did no think that my drinking over there below, might have foul’d her water so far above. Nay, claims t’other, you’ll never leave your chopping that logick till your skin’s turn’d over your ears, as your fathers was, a issue of six months ago, because that prating in ~ this sawcy rate; friend remember it full well, sirrah. If you’ll think me, sir, (quoth the chaste lamb, with fear and also trembling) i was no come into the people then. Why she impudence, cries the wolf, hast thou no shame, nor conscience? however it operation in the blood of your entirety race, sirrah, to dislike our family; and also therefore since fortune has brought us with each other so conveniently, you shall e’en pay some of your fore-fathers scores before you and I part; and so there is no any an ext ado, the leapt in ~ the neck of the miserable helpless lamb, and also tore him immediately to pieces.


‘Tis one easie issue to uncover a staff to win a dog. Innocence is no protection against the arbitrary cruelty that a tyrannical power: however reason and conscience are yet so sacred, that the best villanies are still countenanc’d under that cloak and color.

A Wolf, wanting lamb for his dinner,Growled the end “Lamb you wronged me, you sinner;”Bleated Lamb – “Nay, no true!”Answered wolf – “Then ’twas Ewe…Ewe or lamb; you will serve for my dinner.”

Fraud and violence have no scruples.

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Agnus et Lupus, Bibentes

Lupus et agnus, siti compulsi, advertisement eundem rivum venerant. Premium lupus, longe worse agnus stabat. Tunc improbus latro, iurgii causam quaerens, “Cur,” inquit, “aquam mihi bibenti turbulentam fecisti?” Agnus, perterritus, “Quomodo,” inquit, “hoc facere possum? Aqua a te ad me decurrit.” Lupus, veritate rei repulsus, “Sex menses abhinc,” inquit, “mihi maledixisti.” “Illo tempore,” respondit agnus, “equidem nondum natus eram.” “Hercle igitur,” inquit lupus, “pater tuus de me male locutus est!” Atque ita correptum agnum dilaniat.

Perry #155

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