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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Ivan Krylov (1768–1844)

The Swan, the Pike, and the Crab

From the “Fables”

WHENE’ER companions don’t agree,

They work without accord;

And naught but trouble doth result,

Although they all work hard.

One day a swan, a pike, a crab,

Resolved a load to haul;

All three were harnessed to the cart,

And pulled together all.

But though they pulled with all their might,

The cart-load on the bank stuck tight.

The swan pulled upward to the skies;

The crab did backward crawl;

The pike made for the water straight—

It proved no use at all!

Now, which of them was most to blame,

’Tis not for me to say;

But this I know: the load is there

Unto this very day.