~ 193. The Sailor and the Merchant ~

A merchant and a sailor were drinking together in a tavern.
"How did your father happen to die?" the merchant asked the sailor.
"He died at sea," replied the sailor. "He was a sailor like me, as was my grandfather. He also died at sea."
"Aren't you afraid you'll drown too?" asked the merchant.
Instead of answering, the sailor replied with a question. "And where did your father die?"
"In bed," answered the merchant.
"And your grandfather?"
"Also in bed," said the merchant.
"Well, I'm no more afraid of the sea than you are of bed," said the sailor, smiling.

Inspired by: Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists by Roger L'Estrange, 390.
Notes: This fable is not part of the classical Aesop tradition; find out more here.

Here is an illustration by Bewick:

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