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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 crab, urging us not to advise things that are impossible.
The crab's mother said to him, 'My son, why do you walk in a crooked line when you should be walking straight ahead?' The crab said to her, 'O mother, lead the way, and I will try to walk accordingly.' The crab's mother was unable to walk in a straight line, and her son accused her of being out of her mind.
It is easier to advocate an impossible task than to accomplish it.

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 196 is a rather odd little story about the friendship between the snake and the crab: the crab resents the snake for having a "crooked" character, and when the crab kills the snake, the snake stretches out straight whereupon the crab exclaims, "if only you had been straight in life, I wouldn't have had to kill you." In Perry 322, the crab's mother is telling her son to walk straight, and her son asks her to please set him a good example.

Perry 322: Caxton Avyan 3 [English]
Perry 322: Gibbs (Oxford) 369 [English]
Perry 322: Jacobs 48 [English]
Perry 322: Townsend 81 [English]
Perry 322: Steinhowel Avyan 3 [Latin, illustrated] Mannheim University Library
Perry 322: Aphthonius 11 [Greek]
Perry 322: Babrius 109 [Greek]
Perry 322: Chambry 151 [Greek]
Perry 322: Avianus 3 [Latin]

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.