A Weasel, by a person caught,
And willing to get off; besought
The man to spare. “Be not severe
On him that keeps your pantry clear
“This were,” says he, “a work of price,
Of those intolerable mice.”
If done entirely for my sake,
And good had been the plea you make:
But since, with all these pains and care,
You seize yourself the dainty fare
On which those vermin used to fall,
And then devour the mice and all,
Urge not a benefit in vain.”
This said, the miscreant was slain.
The satire here those chaps will own,
Who, useful to themselves alone,
And bustling for a private end,
Would boast the merit of a friend.
This is one of the fables of Phaedrus, a 1st Century Roman, translated in 1913 by Christopher Smart. It sounds much like the justification for trickle-down economics, doesn’t it?