The Sheep-Biter

106. THE SHEEP-BITER. A certain shepherd had a dog, upon whose fidelity he relied very much; for whenever he had occasion to be absent himself, he committed the care and tuition of his flock to the charge of this dog; and to encourage him to do his duty cheerfully, he fed him constantly with sweet curds and whey, and sometimes threw him a crust or two extraordinary.
Yet, notwithstanding this, no sooner was his back turned but the treacherous cur fell foul upon the flock, and devoured the sheep, instead of guarding and defending them. The shepherd, being informed of this, was resolved to hang him; and the dog, when the rope was about his neck, and he was just going to be tied up, began to expostulate with his master, asking him why he was so unmercifully bent against him, who was his own servant and creature, and had only committed one or two crimes; and why he did not rather execute revenge upon the wolf, who was a constant, open and declared enemy?
“Nay,” replies the shepherd, “it is for that very reason that I think you ten times more worthy of death than him; from him I expected nothing but hostilities, and therefore could guard against him; you I depended upon as a just and faithful servant, and fed and encouraged you accordingly; and therefore your treachery is the more notorious, and your ingratitude the more unpardonable.” [more info]

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