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Group Four

31 The brash gnat

32 The enemy's trumpeter

33 A tortoise dies

34 A doomed man

35 The scorpion stings

36 A wolf finds reasons

37 The stork chooses

38 The tricky wolf

39 A donkey thinks

40 A patient dies

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40. A Patient Dies of Good Symptoms

A wealthy man once felt upset
And told the doctor how he sweat
        At night upon his mat,
The doctor, eager him to please,
Told him: Relax and take your ease,
        A healthy symptom, that.

But soon he came again and said
Now he was shivvering in his bed,        
        Could hardly even breathe!
The doctor smiled: Relax, my dear,
It's a good symptom, do not fear,
        Soon that distress will leave.

Next diarrhea hit the man
It's good, it shows you're eating bran,
        The foolish doctor guessed.
The man expired! His family cried:
Twas' of good symptoms that he died!
        The doctor did his best.

MORAL: Beware of short-sighted experts.


from the book Praying Your Story and the forthcoming book Aesop's Best: 80 Fables in Verse by William Cleary



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