Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Capons and the Cook

The Capons and the Cook. A certain man had a large flock of capons which he kept together in the same coop. He fed them generously and they all got fat except for one, whom his brother birds used to make fun of because he was skinny. When the master was getting ready to entertain some noble guests with an elegant and sumptuous dinner party, he ordered the cook to find the fattest capons in the flock, kill them, and roast them. When they heard this, the fat birds were in a state of despair and said, "How much better it would have been if we had stayed skinny!"

Capones et Coquus. Vir quidam complures Capones, in eodem ornithobosco inclusos, largo nutricaverat cibo, qui pingues effecti sunt omnes praeter unum, quem ut macilentum irridebant fratres. Dominus, nobiles hospites lauto et sumptuoso accepturus convivio, imperat coquo ut ex his interimat coquatque quos pinguiores invenerit. Hoc audientes, corpulenti sese afflictabant, dicentes, "Quanto praestitisset nos macilentos esse."

Notes. This is Abstemius 10. As usual with Abstemius, it is not found in Perry's inventory. With modern-day weight concerns, this fable is certainly timely! The word capones here is a medieval Latin word, but easily recognizable because of the English borrowing, "capon."

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