Aesop's Fables

by Aesop
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"Blow Hot And Cold"

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Last Updated on May 25, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 202

Context: This amusing tale of Bacchus' attendant, a woodland deity, and a mortal has the flavor of a later Greek satirist, Theocritus. In a recent, accurate, and literal translation from Aesop Without Morals, the story goes as follows: "It is said that a man once formed a friendship with a satyr. When winter came on, and it got cold, the man put his hands to his mouth and blew on them. When the Satyr asked why he did this, he said that he was warming his hands because they were cold. Later when the table was set before them and a dish that was served was very hot, the man took a little of it, held it to his mouth, and blew. When the satyr asked again why he did this, he said that he was cooling his food because it was too hot. The Satyr then replied, "Well, my good fellow, I'm giving up your friendship if you give off both heat and cold from your mouth." The traditional version ends on a more dramatic note:

"Out you go," said the Satyr. "I will have nought to do with a man who can blow hot and cold with the same breath."

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