The Shepherd And His Dog





A shepherd, with a single dog,

Was ask'd the reason why

He kept a dog, whose least supply

Amounted to a loaf of bread

For every day. The people said

He'd better give the animal

To guard the village seignior's hall;

For him, a shepherd, it would be

A thriftier economy

To keep small curs, say two or three,

That would not cost him half the food,

And yet for watching be as good.

The fools, perhaps, forgot to tell

If they would fight the wolf as well.

The silly shepherd, giving heed,

Cast off his dog of mastiff breed,

And took three dogs to watch his cattle,

Which ate far less, but fled in battle.



_Not vain our tale, if it convinces_

_Small states that 'tis a wiser thing_

_To trust a single powerful king,_

_Than half a dozen petty princes._





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