Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
DIOGENES AND THE FERRYMAN
On his travels, Diogenes the Cynic came to a stream that was flooded. He stood
on the bank, unable to go any farther. One of those ferrymen who regularly carry
people across rivers saw that Diogenes did not know what to do so he approached
the philosopher, picked him up, and kindly carried him across the water. Diogenes
then stood on the opposite shore, bewailing the poverty that prevented him from
rewarding the man for his good deed. While Diogenes was still pondering this
state of affairs, the ferryman saw another traveller who could not get across,
so he ran off to offer his assistance. Diogenes accosted the ferryman and said,
'Well, I do not feel in your debt any longer for the favour that you did me.
This is not an act of judgment on your part - it's an addiction!'
The story shows that someone who assists both the truly good and those who
are undeserving is not seen as a philanthropist, but is instead regarded as
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.
Perry 247: Gibbs (Oxford) 85 [English]
Perry 247: Chambry 98 [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.