Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
190. THE SALT-WATER FISH AND THE FRESH-WATER FISH
Perry 584 (Avianus
Carried from his fresh-water pond by a rushing stream, a fresh-water
fish rushed headlong into the waters of the sea. The shameless creature
scorned the scaly schools in the sea and boasted endlessly of his own
illustrious origins. A salt-water fish could not suffer this refugee in
his own ancestral waters and he spoke these pungent words, naturally salted
with wit: 'Enough of your empty lies and pretentious talk; you yourself
are the best evidence of their absurdity. If the two of us are captured
and hauled in by the same dripping net, I will be able to prove to you
just who is more highly regarded by the crowd of onlookers: you will see
that I am bought by the connoisseur at a very high price indeed, while
you will be sold to an undiscriminating commoner for a mere penny or two!'
Note: Avianus simply refers to the fresh-water fish as piscis, fish.
As for the salt-water fish, phukis, it is not entirely clear what species
he had in mind: Greek sources suggest it is some kind of wrasse, although
(Natural History 9.26) seems to think it is a lamprey.
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.