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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A man was making his way through the countryside off the beaten track when he heard the word 'Hel-lo!' He halted for a moment and then, when he saw that there was nobody there, he quickened his pace. Out of nowhere he heard the same greeting a second time. Reassured by the friendly voice, he came to a stop, hoping to meet the person who had spoken to him, whoever it was. The traveller stood there for a while in confusion, when he could have walked another mile or more in the time he spent looking around for the source of the voice. Finally the raven came out into the open, flying overhead and continuing to croak 'Hel-lo! Hel-lo!' When the man understood that he had been tricked, he said, 'Damn you, you worthless bird: you made me slow down when I was really in a hurry!'

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 551: Gibbs (Oxford) 273 [English]
Perry 551: Phaedrus 6.23 [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.