<< Home Page | Oxford (Gibbs) Index

Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)

Perry 482 (Phaedrus 1.25)

If you try to deceive someone who has his wits about him, you will waste your time and be made fun of as well.
Legend has it that when dogs drink from the Nile they do so on the run to avoid being caught by the crocodiles. So when a certain dog started to lap some water as he ran, a crocodile said, 'Drink as much as you want, take your time, don't be afraid!' The dog then said to the crocodile, 'By god, I would do just that, if I didn't already know that you have a craving for my flesh!'

Note: This same motif is found in Pliny, Natural History 8.61: 'when they lap from the Nile they do so at a run, so that they won't give the hungry crocodiles a chance to eat them.'

Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
NOTE: New cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.