Posted by: Democratic Thinker | December 19, 2009

Weekly Story: Animal Rights

Weekly Story

He that deserts his country’s cause,
Should meet the vengeance of its laws;
And who for base and abject end,
Through fear to either side would bend;
Unable from his doom to fly,
Beshunn’d by all with infamy.

—H. Steers, Æsop’s Fables, Versified (1803).

The BIRDS, the BEASTS, and the BAT.

Once upon a time, there commenced a fierce war between the Birds and the Beasts; when the Bat, taking advantage of his ambiguous make, hoped by that means, to live secure in a state of neutrality, and save his bacon. It was not long before the forces on each side met, and gave battle; and their animosities running very high, a bloody slaughter ensued. The Bat at the beginning of the day, thinking the Birds most likely to carry it, listed himself among them; but kept fluttering at a little distance, that he might the better observe and take his measures accordingly. However, after some time spent in the action, the army of the Beasts seeming to prevail, he went entirely over to them, and endeavoured to convince them, by the affinity which he had to a mouse, that he was more by nature a beast, and would always continue firm and true to their interest. His plea was admitted; but in the end, the advantage turning completely on the side of the Birds, under the admirable conduct and courage of their general, the Eagle; the Bat, to save his life, and escape the disgrace of falling into the hands of his deserted friends, betook himself to flight; and ever since, skulking in caves and hollow trees all day, as if ashamed to show himself, he never appears till the dusk of the evening, when all the feathered inhabitants of the air are gone to roost.

—Samuel Croxall (trans), Fables of Æsop, 1792.

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