The Devil and the Old Woman. In general when people through their own fault suffer some kind of setback, they say that it is the fault of bad luck or of the Devil, in order to escape being blamed themselves; that's how people take the easy way out. The Devil does not like this at all, so when he saw an old woman who wanted to climb a tree with her shoes on, he realized that she was going to fall out of the tree and put the blame on him, so he summoned some witnesses and said to them, "Observe that old woman who, without any advice from me, is climing that tree from which I can see that she is going to fall. You are my witnesses that I did not urge her to climb that tree with her shoes on." The old woman quickly fell down from the tree and when she was asked why she had climbed a tree with her shoes on, she said, "The Devil made me do it." Then the Devil summoned his witnesses and proved that the old woman had acted on her own, without his advice.
Daemon et Anus. Volunt homines ut plurimum, quando sua culpa aliquid sibi acciderit adversi, in Fortunam vel in Daemonem culpam conferre, ut se crimine exuant; adeo omnes sibi indulgent. Hoc Daemon aegre ferens, cum videret anum quandam arborem ascendentem soleatam, ex qua illam ruituram et in se culpam collaturam praeviderat, accitis testibus, dixit, "Videte anum illam absque meo consilio arborem ascendentem, unde eam casuram esse prospicio. Estote mihi testes, me ei non suasisse, ut soleata illuc ascenderet." Mox anus cecidit et, cum interrogaretur cur soleata arborem ascendisset, "Daemon," inquit, "me impulit." Tunc Daemon, adductis testibus, probavit id ab anu absque suo factum esse consilio.
Notes. This is Abstemius 33. As usual with Abstemius, it is not found in Perry's inventory. It is one of my very favorite fables by Abstemius. I had never thought before just what the devil woudl think about people always saying "the devil made me do it."