A Farmer set nets to catch Cranes which came to eat his seed. When he came to the net he found a Stork in with the Cranes. The Stork plead for his life citing his service to humanity and good character. The Farmer, however, laughed and said, "You were traveling with these robbers and so must meet their fate."
A farmer placed nets on his newly-sown plowlands and caught a number of Cranes, which came to pick up his seed. With them he trapped a Stork that had fractured his leg in the net and was earnestly beseeching the Farmer to spare his life. "Pray save me, Master," he said, "and let me go free this once. My broken limb should excite your pity. Besides, I am no Crane, I am a Stork, a bird of excellent character; and see how I love and slave for my father and mother. Look too, at my feathers--they are not the least like those of a Crane." The Farmer laughed aloud and said, "It may be all as you say, I only know this: I have taken you with these robbers, the Cranes, and you must die in their company."
Birds of a feather flock together.
A poor innocent stork had the ill hap to be taken in a net that was layd for geese and cranes. The storks plea for her self was simplicity, and piety: the love she bore to mankind, and the service she did in picking up of venomous creatures. This is all true, says the husbandman; but they that keep ill company, if they be catch'd with ill company, must expect to suffer with ill company.
'Tis as much as a man's life, fortune, and reputation, are worth, to keep good company (over and above the contagion of lewd examples) for as Birds of a feather will flock together, so if the good and the bad be taken together, they must expect to go the way of all flesh together.
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