Following a goat as mother, cried,
"Idiot, thy dam who dost not know!
She's yonder with the flock below."
"Not her I follow as my dam,
Who brought me forth," replies the Lamb,
"To please herself, then left me there;
But her whose kind maternal care
To cherish me has nothing spar'd,
While with her kids the milk I shar'd;
And stinted them to nourish me."
"Thy mother more deserves of thee,"
Answer'd the Dog."And pray why so,
Or white or black who does not know
If I was born, or ram or ewe?
More filial duty sure is due,
To who parental cares impart,
From pure benevolence of heart,
Than mere existence who supply,
Impell'd by blind necessity."
By this is to be understood,
That benefits bind more than blood.
Source: Boothby - Phaedrus 3.14.
Click here for a SLIDESHOW of all the Croxall images. Note that this image shows a wolf, rather than a dog - but it still works for the fable, I think!