<< Home Page | Perry Index

Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


Someone who does not respect his associates will usually be punished for his conceited behaviour.
The cricket was making a great deal of noise and this greatly annoyed the owl, since she was accustomed to seek out her food in the darkness of night and to sleep during the day inside the hollowed-out branch of a tree. The owl thus asked the cricket to keep quiet, which only provoked the cricket to make an even greater racket. Again the owl asked the cricket to keep quiet, and this triggered a still greater outburst of noise. When the owl saw that she was accomplishing nothing since the cricket simply scorned her requests, she decided to trick the chattering insect. 'Given that I cannot sleep because of your singing,' said the owl, 'which of course one might easily mistake for the tuneful strains of Apollo's lyre, I've decided to drink some of the nectar which Athena recently gave me as a gift. Please come and let's drink it together, if that meets with your approval.' The cricket happened to be extremely thirsty and she was also quite pleased by the compliments which the owl had paid to her singing, so she gladly flew to where the owl was waiting. The owl then sealed up the entrance and seized the trembling cricket and brought an end to her life: what the cricket refused to do while living, she conceded in death.

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 507: Gibbs (Oxford) 97 [English]
Perry 507: Townsend 264 [English]
Perry 507: Phaedrus 3.16 [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.