wide of the mark
I suppose after all that no one whose mind was not, to put it mildly, abnormal, ever yet aimed very high out of pure malice aforethought. I once saw a fly alight on a cup of hot coffee on which the milk had formed a thin skin; he perceived his extreme danger, and I noted with what ample strides and almost supermuscan effort he struck across the treacherous surface and made for the edge of the cup—for the ground was not solid enough to let him raise himself from it by his wings. As I watched him I fancied that so supreme a moment of difficulty and danger might leave him with an increase of moral and physical power which might even descend in some measure to his offspring. But surely he would not have got the increased moral power if he could have helped it, and he will not knowingly alight upon another cup of hot coffee.
—Samuel Butler (The Way of All Flesh, p. 375f.)