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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A swallow once asked a nightingale why she didn't want to come and take up residence with her. The nightingale wept and cried, 'No, it is impossible for me to do that. It brings to mind the grief suffered by my ancestors, which is why I dwell in the wilderness.'
The fable shows that when people feel grief for their misfortunes, they avoid the place where that grief overtook them.

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 437, the owl warns the birds about various dangers: birdlime, flax, and archery, but the birds ignore the owl every time; later they repent and worship the owl, but the owl refuses to give them any more advice. In Perry 39, the swallow realizes that the mistletoe is dangerous and warns the other birds, who ignore her advice so the swallow leaves the birds and comes to live among people. (Perry 277 is a dialogue between the nightingale and the swallow, which is explains why the swallow dwells with people.)

Perry 277: Gibbs (Oxford) 505 [English]
Perry 277: Babrius 12 [Greek]
Perry 277: Chambry 9 [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.