Mercury and the Fishermen

Some fishermen had caught a big load of fish. They ate all they could eat, and still they had fish left over that they didn't want to carry back home.
"What are we going to do with this fish?" they wondered.
At just that moment, the god Mercury came walking by.
"O Mercury," said the fishermen, "please partake of the fish we have caught!"
But the god realized what they were thinking and rebuked them.
"Those who caught the fish should eat the fish," said Mercury. "Meanwhile, don't try to give me a present that you yourself don't want."

Inspired by: Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists by Roger L'Estrange, 377.
Notes: Some versions of this story are told about turtles; I decided to tell it about fish. Erasmus tells the story in his Adagia 1.1.87 as an explanation of the proverb Ipsi testudines edite, qui cepistis; details.

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