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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


Two mules were walking along, weighed down by two different loads: one mule was laden with bags full of money, while the other mule was carrying sacks stuffed with barley. The mule who was flush with money proudly lifted his head, tossing the little bell on his neck back and forth, while his companion simply followed along at a calm and quiet pace. All of a sudden, the mules were set upon by robbers who attacked them from an ambush. In the violent struggle, the rich mule was slashed with a sword and the robbers stole his money, yet they paid no attention at all to the worthless barley. When the mule who had lost all his riches began to complain, the other mule declared, 'As for me, I am quite content to have been treated with contempt: it means that I suffered no injury and lost none of my possessions!'
This fable proves that there is little risk in being poor, while being rich can get you into trouble.

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 491: Gibbs (Oxford) 411 [English]
Perry 491: Townsend 299 [English]
Perry 491: Phaedrus 2.7 [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.