The Serpent and the Eagle

A serpent and an eagle were struggling with each other in a deadly conflict. The serpent had the advantage, and was about to strangle the bird. A countryman saw them and, running up, loosed the coil of the serpent and let the eagle go free. The serpent, irritated at the escape of his prey, some time later injected his poison into the drinking cup of the countryman. The rustic, ignorant of his danger, was about to drink, when the eagle struck his hand with his wing and, seizing the drinking cup in his talons, carried it away.