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

Perry 158 (Babrius 16)

There was a rustic nurse whose baby kept on crying, so she made the following threat: 'Be quiet, or else I will throw you to the wolf!' A wolf heard this and took the woman's words literally, so he sat there, waiting as if dinner were about to be served. At evening time the baby finally fell asleep, so the wolf went away hungry, his mouth gaping open, after having waited with high hopes for something that was never going to happen. When he got home, the she-wolf asked him, 'Why have you come back home without bringing anything? You always used to bring something with you!' The wolf said in reply, 'How could it be otherwise, since I believed the words of a woman?'

Note: The 'wolf who gaped like a fool' or the 'gaping wolf' was a proverbial figure in ancient Greece (e.g., Aristophanes, Lysistrata 629).

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.