Aesop at Play

101. AESOP AT PLAY. An Athenian one day found Aesop at play with a company of little boys, at their childish diversions, and began to jeer and laugh at him for it. The old fellow, who was too much a wag himself to suffer others to ridicule him, took a bow, unstrung, and laid it upon the ground. Then calling the censorious Athenian, “Now, philosopher,” says he, “expound the riddle if you can, and tell us what the unstrained bow implies.”
The man, after racking his brains, and scratching his pate about it a considerable time, to no purpose, at last gave it up, and declared he knew not what to make of it.
“Why,” says Aesop, laughing, “if you keep a bow always bent, it will break presently; but if you let it go slack, it will be the fitter for use when you want it.” [more info]

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