A farmer's wagon got stuck in the mud, and the oxen could not pull it out.
The farmer fell to his knees and implored Hercules to come to his aid. "O Hercules," he cried, "help me!"
Then a voice boomed from the sky as loud as thunder. It was the voice of Hercules.
"You fool!" said Hercules. "Put the whip to your oxen and put your shoulder to the wheel. Use all your strength to do what you can. You should only call on me when you have exhausted your own powers."
Help yourself, and the god will help you.
Inspired by: Mille Fabulae et Una, a collection of Latin fables that I've edited, free to read online. I am not translating the Latin here; instead, I am just telling a 100-word version of the fable.
Notes: This is fable 803 in the book, which is Perry 291.