<< Home Page | Oxford (Gibbs) Index

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

Perry 553 (Phaedrus App. 26)

A detestable crow had seated herself atop a sheep so that the sheep had to carry the crow around against her will. After a while, the sheep remarked, 'If you had done this to a dog, you would not be able to get away with it: dogs have teeth!' The obnoxious crow replied, 'I despise creatures who cannot defend themselves, yet I yield to the high and mighty, as I know who should be attacked and who should be flattered with cunning lies. That is why I last to a ripe old age, living for thousands of years.'

Note: The crow was a proverbially long-lived bird in Greco-Roman folklore, with a lifespan equal to that of nine generations of men (see Ovid, Amores 2.6.35). The deer was another proverbially long-lived animal; see Fable 600.

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.