The Farmer and the Snake

Returning home one winter’s day, a farmer found a snake lying under a hedge, half dead with cold. Taking pity on the creature, he brought it home, where he laid it upon the hearth near the fire. No sooner was the snake restored by the warmth of the cottage than it began to attack the farmer’s wife and children. Hearing their cries, the farmer, whose compassion had saved the snake’s life, rushed into the room, grabbed an axe, and smashed the serpent until it was dead.

Old Learning: Kindness to ungrateful and vicious creatures is thrown away.

New Take

It’s the foolishness of the farmer to bring the snake home. Being kind and being foolish are two different things. The farmer could have provided fire to the snake or put him some warmer hole.

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