Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
THE BAT AND THE SONGBIRD
A songbird was hanging in a cage in a window. A bat flew up and asked the songbird
why she sang at night but was silent during the day. The songbird said that
she had her reasons: it was while she had been singing once during the day that
she had been captured. This had taught her a lesson, and she had vowed that
she would sing only at night. The bat remarked, 'But there is no need for that
now, when it won't do you any good: you should have been on your guard before
you were captured!'
The story shows that it is useless to repent after disaster has struck.
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 48: Gibbs (Oxford) 288 [English]
Perry 48: L'Estrange 162 [English]
Perry 48: Chambry 75 [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.