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

Perry 30 (Chambry 53)

A wealthy Athenian was making a sea voyage with some companions. A terrible storm blew up and the ship capsized. All the other passengers started to swim, but the Athenian kept praying to Athena, making all kinds of promises if only she would save him. Then one of the other shipwrecked passengers swam past him and said, 'While you pray to Athena, start moving your arms!'
So too we should think of ourselves and do something on our own in addition to praying to the gods. The fable shows that it is better to gain the favour of the gods by our own efforts than to fail to take care of ourselves and be rescued by supernatural powers. When disaster comes upon us, we should make every possible effort on our own behalf and only then ask for divine assistance.

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.