Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
97. THE CRICKET AND THE OWL
Perry 507 (Phaedrus
Someone who does not respect his associates will usually be punished
for his conceited behaviour.
The cricket was making a great deal of noise and this greatly annoyed
the owl, since she was accustomed to seek out her food in the darkness
of night and to sleep during the day inside the hollowed-out branch of
a tree. The owl thus asked the cricket to keep quiet, which only provoked
the cricket to make an even greater racket. Again the owl asked the cricket
to keep quiet, and this triggered a still greater outburst of noise. When
the owl saw that she was accomplishing nothing since the cricket simply
scorned her requests, she decided to trick the chattering insect. 'Given
that I cannot sleep because of your singing,' said the owl, 'which of
course one might easily mistake for the tuneful strains of Apollo's lyre,
I've decided to drink some of the nectar which Athena recently gave me
as a gift. Please come and let's drink it together, if that meets with
your approval.' The cricket happened to be extremely thirsty and she was
also quite pleased by the compliments which the owl had paid to her singing,
so she gladly flew to where the owl was waiting. The owl then sealed up
the entrance and seized the trembling cricket and brought an end to her
life: what the cricket refused to do while living, she conceded in death.
was the leader of the Muses and the god of music and poetry; Athena
was the goddess of wisdom and warfare. The owl was closely associated
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.