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Fable of the Day: De Mure liberante Milvum

Title: De Mure liberante Milvum: The Mouse Who Freed The Kite, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Mus conspicatus milvum laqueo aucupis implicitum misertus est avis, quamvis sibi inimicae, abrosisque dente vinculis, evolandi viam et fecit. Milvus tanti immemor beneficii, ubi se solutum vidit, murem nil tale suspicantem corripiens unguibus et rostro laceravit. Fabula indicat, malignos viros huiusmodi gratias suis benefactoribus solere reprehendere.


Here is a segmented version to help you see the grammatical patterns:



Mus
conspicatus milvum
laqueo aucupis implicitum
misertus est avis,
quamvis sibi inimicae,
abrosisque dente vinculis,
evolandi viam et fecit.
Milvus
tanti immemor beneficii,
ubi se solutum vidit,
murem
nil tale suspicantem
corripiens unguibus et rostro laceravit.
Fabula indicat,
malignos viros
huiusmodi gratias
suis benefactoribus solere reprehendere.

Crossword Puzzle: You can play a crossword puzzle based on the vocabulary in this fable.



Translation:



A mouse saw a kite caught in the birdcatcher's snare and felt sorry for the bird, even though the kite was its enemy. So the mouse gnawed through the bonds with its teeth, and so made a way for the kite to fly out. The kite took no thought for such a great favor and when it saw that it was free, it grabbed the mouse, who suspected nothing, and tore the mouse to shreds with its beak and talons. The fables shows that this is the sort of thanks with which spiteful men are accustomed to repay their benefactors.



[This translation is meant as a help in understanding the story, not as a "crib" for the Latin. I have not hesitated to change the syntax to make it flow more smoothly in English, altering the verb tense consistently to narrative past tense, etc.]



Source: Abstemius 70 (You can see a 1499 edition of Abstemius online, but I am doing my transcription from the 1568 edition of Aesopi fabulae in the EEBO catalog.)



Another English translation. Sir Roger L'Estrange included the fables of Abstemius in his amazing 17th-century edition of Aesop's fables. So, here is L'Estrange's translation:



A Simple Mouse had the Fortune to be near at hand, when a Kite was taken in a Net. The Kite begg'd of her to try if she could help her out. The Mouse gnaw'd a Hole in't, and set her at Liberty; and the Kite eat up the Mouse for her pains.
Save a Thief from the Gallows, and he'll cut your Throat.



[Note: You can find more of these fables at the old blog address for Latin Via Fables.]
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