A Country Maid was walking very deliberately with a pail of milk upon her head, when she fell into the following train of reflections.
The money for which I shall sell this milk, will enable me to increase my stock of eggs to three hundred.
These eggs, allowing for what may prove addle, and what may be destroyed by vermin, will produce at least two hundred and fifty chickens.
The chickens will be fit to carry to market about Christmas, when poultry always bear a good price, so that by May-day I cannot fail of having money enough to purchase a gown. Green!—let me consider—yes, green becomes my complexion best, and green it shall be.
In this dress I will go to the fair, where all the young fellows will strive to have me for a partner; but I shall perhaps refuse every one of them, and with an air of disdain toss from them.
Transported with this triumphant thought, she could not forbear acting with her head what thus passed in her imagination, when down came the pail of milk, and with it all her imaginary happiness.
MORAL: When we dwell much on distant and chimerical advantages, we neglect our present business, and are exposed to real misfortunes.
Fable citation: Bewick, Thomas. Bewick’s Select Fables of Aesop and Others. London: Bickers & Son, 1776. This story is in the public domain and is part of the cited work