The Cat's Paw

14. THE CAT'S PAW. A cunning old Ape who felt his mouth water at the vicinity of certain tempting fruits which he longed to possess, but which he knew to be guarded in a place too warm for his fingers to venture in, asked a foolish young Cat, whom he saw passing, to come to his assistance.
"I pray you," he said, "lend me your paw to reach those pretty nice things that I require. I am a poor old creature that cannot help himself, and will well reward you for your pains."
The silly Cat complied; but in so doing, burnt his claws so terribly that he was unable to catch mice for months to come, while the old Ape got safely off with the plunder.
MORAL. In the trade of chestnut-stealing, it is the Cat comes in for the kicks, while the Monkey enjoys the halfpence. [more info]

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