Aesop vs Ambrose: The Man Bitten by a Dog

Aesop’s fables are known the world over for their conciseness and easy to remember moral lessons. Ambrose Bierce couldn’t help but poke fun a bit at the seriousness of these fables, and produced his own version of Aesop’s famous tales that usually end a little more realistically. Read both versions here, or at Gutenberg.org (Aesop’s here, Ambrose’s here), or listen to them performed by me, Kay Mack.

Aesop-The Man Bitten by a Dog

A man who had been bitten by a Dog went about in quest of someone who might heal him. A friend, meeting him and learning what he wanted, said, “If you would be cured, take a piece of bread, and dip it in the blood from your wound, and go and give it to the Dog that bit you.” The Man who had been bitten laughed at this advice and said, “Why? If I should do so, it would be as if I should beg every Dog in the town to bite me.”

Benefits bestowed upon the evil-disposed increase their means of injuring you.

Ambrose-The Man and the Dog

A Man who had been bitten by a Dog was told that the wound would heal if he would dip a piece of bread in the blood and give it to the Dog. He did so.

“No,” said the Dog; “if I were to accept that, it might be thought that in biting you I was actuated by improper motives.”

“And by what motives were you actuated?” asked the Man.

“I desired,” replied the Dog, “merely to harmonise myself with the Divine Scheme of Things. I‘m a child of Nature.”

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