Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
288. THE BAT AND THE SONGBIRD
Perry 48 (Chambry
A songbird was hanging in a cage in a window. A bat flew up and asked
the songbird why she sang at night but was silent during the day. The
songbird said that she had her reasons: it was while she had been singing
once during the day that she had been captured. This had taught her a
lesson, and she had vowed that she would sing only at night. The bat remarked,
'But there is no need for that now, when it won't do you any good: you
should have been on your guard before you were captured!'
The story shows that it is useless to repent after disaster has struck.
Note: This species of bird, botalis in Greek (or, in this version,
boutalis) is otherwise unidentified. The story seems to be an aetiological
account of some nocturnal songbird like the nightingale.
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.