Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
THE DROWNING BOY
A boy had gone down to the river to bathe but because he didn't know how to
swim, he was in danger of drowning. The boy then saw a man walking by and called
to him for help. As the man was pulling the boy out of the water, he said, 'If
you don't know how to swim, why on earth did you dare to try these swollen river
waters?' The drowning boy replied, 'Right now I just need your help; you can
lecture me about it afterwards!'
The fable shows that people who lecture someone during a moment of crisis
are offering criticism that is inappropriate and out of place.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.
Perry 211: Gibbs (Oxford) 289 [English]
Perry 211: Townsend 205 [English]
Perry 211: Chambry 297 [Greek]
Perry 211: Syntipas 23 [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.