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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


When Juno boasted of her chastity, Venus didn't want to quarrel with her so she did not dispute what Juno said, but in order to show that no other woman was as chaste as Juno she reportedly asked some questions of a hen. 'So,' Venus said to the hen, 'could you please tell me how much food it would take to satisfy you?' The hen answered, 'Whatever you give me will be enough, as long as you let me use my feet to scratch for something more.' 'What about a peck of wheat: would that be enough to keep you from scratching?' 'Oh my, that is more than enough food, of course, but please let me go on scratching.' Venus asked, 'Then what do you want to completely give up scratching?' At that point the hen finally confessed her natural-born weakness and said, 'Even if I had access to a whole barn full of grain, I would still just keep on scratching.' Juno is said to have laughed at Venus's joke, because by means of that hen the goddess had made an indictment of women in general.

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 539: Caxton 3.8 [English]
Perry 539: Gibbs (Oxford) 573 [English]
Perry 539: Steinhowel 3.8 [Latin, illustrated] Mannheim University Library
Perry 539: Phaedrus 6.11 [Latin]
Perry 539: Rom. Anglicus 133 [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.