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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Countryman and the Snake
By Æsop (c. 620–560 B.C.)
 
A VILLAGER, in a frosty, snowy winter, found a Snake under a hedge, almost dead with cold. He could not help having a compassion for the poor creature, so brought it home, and laid it upon the hearth, near the fire; but it had not lain there long, before (being revived with the heat) it began to erect itself, and fly at his wife and children, filling the whole cottage with dreadful hissings. The Countryman heard an outcry, and perceiving what the matter was, catched up a mattock and soon dispatched him; upbraiding him at the same time in these words:—“Is this, vile wretch, the reward you make to him that saved your life? Die as you deserve; but a single death is too good for you.”  1
 
 
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