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“The Sword-Blade”, Fable by Ivan. A. Krylov

Russian Fable

Krylov and his fables

Russian LiteratureChildren BooksRussian PoetryIvan. A. KrylovContents


< < < The Peasant In Trouble
The Rain-Cloud > > >


The Sword-Blade


THE keen blade of a Sword, made of Damascus steel, which had been thrown aside on a heap of old iron, was sent to market with the other pieces of metal, and sold for a trifle to a Moujik. Now, a Moujik’s ideas move in я narrow circle. He immediately set to work to turn the blade to account. Our Moujik fitted a handle to the blade, and began to strip with it lime trees, in the forest, of the bark he wanted for shoes, while at home he unceremoniously splintered fir chips with it.

Sometimes, also, he would lop off twigs with it, or small branches for mending his watded fences, or would shape stakes with it for his garden palings And the result was that, before the year was out, our blade was notched and rusted from one end to the other, and the children used to ride astride of it. So one day a Hedgehog, which was lying under a bench in the cottage, close by the spot where the blade had been flung, said to it,


” Tell me, what do you think of this life of yours ? If there is any truth in all the fine things that are said about Damascus steel, you surely must be ashamed of having to splinter fir chips, and square stakes, and of being turned, at last, into a plaything for children.”


But the Sword-blade replied,


” In the hands of a warrior, I should have been a terror to the foe ; but here my special faculties are of no avail. So in this house I am turned to base uses only. But am I free to choose my employment ? No ! Not I, but lie, ought to be ashamed, who could not see for what I was fit to be employed.”




< < < The Peasant In Trouble
The Rain-Cloud > > >

Russian LiteratureChildren BooksRussian PoetryIvan. A. KrylovContents

Copyright holders –  Public Domain Book

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