Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
THE FLY AND THE MULE
A fly alighted on a wagon pole and began to harass the mule. 'You are moving
so slowly!' she said, 'Can't you walk any faster than this? Watch out, or I
will pierce your neck with my sting!' The mule replied, 'I don't care what you
say: the only thing that scares me is that man who sits up there in front regulating
my pace with his pliant whip and keeping my head in check with the foaming bit.
I've had enough of you and your silly boasting: I know full well when I am supposed
go slowly and when I am supposed to run!'
This fable can be effectively used to ridicule a person who makes empty
threats without having the power to back them up.
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 498: Caxton 2.16 [English]
Perry 498: Gibbs (Oxford) 223 [English]
Perry 498: Townsend 218 [English]
Perry 498: Steinhowel 2.16 [Latin, illustrated] Mannheim
Perry 498: Phaedrus 3.6 [Latin]
Perry 498: Rom. Anglicus 94 [Latin]
Perry 498: Walter of England 36 [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.