The Gardener and the Hog

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Fable XLVIII

A gard'ner, of peculiar taste,
On a young hog his favour placed;
Who fed not with the common herd;
His tray was to the hall preferred.
He wallowed underneath the board,
Or in his master's chamber snored;
Who fondly stroked him every day,
And taught him all the puppy's play;
Where'er he went, the grunting friend
Ne'er failed his pleasure to attend.

   As on a time, the loving pair
Walked forth to tend the garden's care,
The master thus address'd the swine:
   'My house, my garden, all is thine.
On turnips feast whene'er you please,
And riot in my beans and peas;
If the potato's taste delights,
Or the red carrot's sweet invites,
Indulge thy morn and evening hours,
But let due care regard my flowers:

My tulips are my garden's pride,
What vast expense those beds supplied!'
   The hog by chance one morning roamed,
Where with new ale the vessels foamed.
He munches now the steaming grains,
Now with full swill the liquor drains.
Intoxicating fumes arise;
He reels, he rolls his winking eyes;
Then stagg'ring through the garden scours,
And treads down painted ranks of flowers.

With delving snout he turns the soil,
And cools his palate with the spoil.
   The master came, the ruin spied,
'Villain, suspend thy rage,' he cried.
'Hast thou, thou most ungrateful sot,
My charge, my only charge forgot?
What, all my flowers!' No more he said,
But gazed, and sighed, and hung his head.
   The hog with stutt'ring speech returns:
'Explain, sir, why your anger burns.

See there, untouched, your tulips strown,
For I devoured the roots alone.'
   At this the gard'ner's passion grows;
From oaths and threats he fell to blows.
The stubborn brute the blow sustains;
Assaults his leg, and tears the veins.
   Ah! foolish swain, too late you find
That sties were for such friends designed!
   Homeward he limps with painful pace,
Reflecting thus on past disgrace:

Who cherishes a brutal mate
Shall mourn the folly soon or late.



The Fables, Volume 1 (1727)
Introduction The Shepard and the Philosopher
Fable I The Lion, the Tiger, and the Traveller
Fable II The Spaniel and the Cameleon
Fable III The Mother, the Nurse, and the Fairy
Fable IV The Eagle, and the Assembly of Animals
Fable V The wild Boar and the Ram
Fable VI The Miser and Plutus
Fable VII The Lion, the Fox, and the Geese
Fable VIII The Lady and the Wasp
Fable IX The Bull and the Mastiff
Fable X The Elephant and the Bookseller
Fable XI The Peacock, the Turkey, and the Goose
Fable XII Cupid, Hymen, and Plutus
Fable XIII The Tame Stag
Fable XIV The Monkey who had seen the World
Fable XV The Philosopher and the Pheasants
Fable XVI The Pin and the Needle
Fable XVII The Shepherd's Dog and the Wolf
Fable XVIII The Painter who pleased Nobody and Everybody
Fable XIX The Lion and the Cub
Fable XX The Old Hen and the Cock
Fable XXI The Rat-catcher and Cats
Fable XXII The Goat without a Beard
Fable XXIII The Old Woman and her Cats
Fable XXIV The Butterfly and the Snail
Fable XXV The Scold and the Parrot
Fable XXVI The Cur and the Mastiff
Fable XXVII The Sick Man and the Angel
Fable XXVIII The Persian, the Sun, and the Cloud
Fable XXIX The Fox at the point of Death
Fable XXX The Setting-dog and the Partridge
Fable XXXI The Universal Apparition
Fable XXXII The Two Owls and the Sparrow
Fable XXXIII The Courtier and Proteus
Fable XXXIV The Mastiffs
Fable XXXV The Barley-mow and the Dunghill
Fable XXXVI Pythagoras and the Countryman
Fable XXXVII The Farmer's Wife and the Raven
Fable XXXVIII The Turkey and the Ant
Fable XXXIX The Father and Jupiter
Fable XL The Two Monkeys
Fable XLI The Owl and the Farmer
Fable XLII The Jugglers
Fable XLIII The Council of Horses
Fable XLIV The Hound and the Huntsman
Fable XLV The Poet and the Rose
Fable XLVI The Cur, the Horse, and the Shepherd's Dog
Fable XLVII The Court of Death
Fable XLVIII The Gardener and the Hog
Fable XLIX The Man and the Flea
Fable L The Hare and many Friends
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