The Swan, the Pike, and the Crab
by Ivan Krylov (1768-1844)
Whene’er companions don’t agree,
They work without accord;
And naught but trouble doth result,
Although they all work hard.
One day a swan, a pike, a crab,
Resolved a load to haul;
All three were harnessed to the cart,
And pulled together all.
But though they pulled with all their might,
The cart-load on the bank stuck tight.
The swan pulled upward to the skies;
The crab did backward crawl;
The pike made for the water straight —
It proved no use at all!
Now, which of them was most to blame
’Tis not for me to say;
But this I know: the load is there
Unto this very day.
The World’s Wit and Humor, Vol. XIV, Russian, Scandinavian, and Miscellaneous Wit and Humor; The Review of Reviews Company; New York; 1906; pp. 19-21.