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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A cicada was singing on top of a tall tree. The fox wanted to eat the cicada, so she came up with a trick. She stood in front of the tree and marvelled at the cicada's beautiful song. The fox then asked the cicada to come down and show himself, since the fox wanted to see how such a tiny creature could be endowed with such a sonorous voice. But the cicada saw through the fox's trick. He tore a leaf from the tree and let it fall to the ground. Thinking it was the cicada, the fox pounced and the cicada then said, 'Hey, you must be crazy to think I would come down from here! I've been on my guard against foxes ever since I saw the wings of a cicada in the spoor of a fox.'
The fable shows that a discerning person is made wise by the misfortunes of his neighbours.

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.


Perry 241: Gibbs (Oxford) 107 [English]
Perry 241: Chambry 335 [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.