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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:


A story about a jackdaw, urging us to hate arrogance.
A beauty contest was held and all the birds went to be judged by Zeus. Hermes fixed the appointed day and the birds flocked to the rivers and ponds where they shed their shabby feathers and preened their finer ones. The jackdaw, however, had no natural advantages to commend his appearance, so he decorated himself with the feathers that had been cast aside by the other birds. The owl alone recognized her own feathers and took them away from the jackdaw, and she incited the other birds to do the same. When the jackdaw had been stripped bare by everyone, he went before the judgment of Zeus naked.
Adornments that do not belong to you can lead to humiliation.

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.

In Perry 101, there is a beauty contest among the birds; the jackdaw wears the other birds' feathers but is recognized by the owl (Aphthonius) or the swallow (Babrius), and the other birds thens trip and humiliate the jackdaw. In Perry 472, the jackdaw finds some peacock feathers, puts them on, but is recognized by the peacocks as being an intruder; the peacocks drive the jackdaw away, as do the other jackdaws. Odo tells a very different story about borrowed feathers: the foolish peacock gives away his feather until he has none left for himself. In another fable of Odo, the crow dresses up in the feathers of other birds but is then stripped bare.

Perry 101: Gibbs (Oxford) 329 [English]
Perry 101: Townsend 57 [English]
Perry 101: Aphthonius 31 [Greek]
Perry 101: Babrius 72 [Greek]
Perry 101: Chambry 162 [Greek]

You can find a compilation of Perry's index to the Aesopica in the gigantic appendix to his edition of Babrius and Phaedrus for the Loeb Classical Library (Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1965). This book is an absolute must for anyone interested in the Aesopic fable tradition. Invaluable.