Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
419. THE FISHERMEN AND THE STONE
Perry 13 (Chambry
Some fishermen were hauling in their net. It was quite heavy, so the
fishermen made merry and danced for joy, thinking that they had landed
a very big catch. Yet when they finally dragged it in, they found that
the net contained only a few fish, together with a very large stone. The
fishermen now grew extremely despondent, not so much because of the lack
of fish but because they had been expecting just the opposite. Then one
of the fishermen, an experienced old man, remarked, 'Let's not take it
too hard, my friends! Given that grief seems to be the sister of joy,
then we must expect to put up with some suffering precisely because we
were so elated at first.'
The fable shows that we have to endure reversals of fortune, since
we know that life is a matter of luck.
Note: For an Aesopic allegory about the joining of Pleasure and Pain,
see Fable 532.
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.