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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A story about a horse, exhorting us to consider the human condition.
A horse was suffering from old age, so instead of serving in battle he was sent to the mill to turn the stones. Condemned to this daily grind and denied the glory of battle, the horse wept over his present way of life, remembering his past career. 'Woe is me!' the horse exclaimed. 'Listen, miller: when I was destined for the battlefield, I was decorated all over with armour and I had a man to serve me as my groom. As things are now, I don't know how it happened that I now have this mill to handle instead of a battle.' The miller said to the horse, 'Can't you keep quiet? I've had quite enough of your raving about the past: Luck can change people's lives for better or for worse!'

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.

In Perry 318, a race horse grows old and is sent to work turning the millstone. In Perry 549, the same story is recounted. Why Perry marked these out as separate stories is not at all clear.

Perry 549: Gibbs (Oxford) 417 [English]
Perry 549: Townsend 67 [English]
Perry 549: Aphthonius 13 [Greek]
Perry 549: Phaedrus 6.21 [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.