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

Perry 508 (Phaedrus 3.17)

Once upon a time, the gods selected the trees which they wished to adopt as their own. Jupiter chose the oak tree, while Venus preferred the myrtle tree, Apollo the laurel, and Cybebe the pine, while Hercules chose the lofty poplar. Minerva was surprised and asked them why they had chosen trees which bore no fruit. Jupiter explained, 'We do not want to appear to bestow these honours on the trees as if in exchange for their fruit.' 'For Heaven's sake,' said Minerva, 'you can say whatever you want, but the olive tree appeals to me precisely because of the fruit that it yields!' Then the father of gods and begetter of mortals said, 'O my daughter, you are rightly called the goddess of wisdom by one and all: public acclaim is sheer foolishness, unless we are able to produce something that is useful.'
This fable warns us not to do anything that doesn't have some purpose.

Note: Venus is the Roman equivalent of Aphrodite, the goddess of love; Minerva is the Roman equivalent of Athena, goddess of wisdom; Hercules is the Roman equivalent of Heracles. For Cybebe, the 'Great Mother' goddess, see Fable 6 and its note.

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.