Which Aesop's Fable Illustrates The Saying "Honesty Is The Best Policy"?


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A woodman was working near a river when he dropped his axe and it fell into the river. He stood on the bank and began to cry, for without the axe he couldn't make a living. The god Mercury appeared and offered to dive into the river and fetch the axe. To test the woodman's honesty, he first brought up an axe made of silver. "No," said the man, "that isn't mine." Then Mercury fetched up one of gold, which was also rejected. Finally he produced the woodman's own plain wooden axe, which he gratefully accepted. Mercury was so pleased with his honesty that he gave him the other two axes as well.

When the woodman got home he told his neighbour what had happened. Hoping to get the same luck, this man threw his own axe in the river, and when Mercury brought up a gold one he claimed it as his own. Mercury punished him by throwing the golden axe back in, and refusing to get the man's own axe out too.

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