Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
THE COWARD AND THE LION OF GOLD
There was a certain greedy coward who found a lion of gold
and said, 'I do not know how to act in such circumstances. This
is driving me crazy! I can't decide what to do: my love of money
and my innate cowardice are tearing me in two. What kind of accident
or supernatural power could have produced a lion of gold? My
mind is at war with itself when it confronts this problem: it
longs for the gold but it fears the object which the gold has
been made into. My desire urges me to seize it, but my character
urges me to keep away. O fortune, you have given me this thing
but you do not allow it to be taken! O treasure that offers no
satisfaction! O welcome gift of a god that is so unwelcome! What
to do? How can I get some advantage from this? How can I contrive
a means to approach it? I will go get my servants and bring them
here and order them to launch a mass attack and grab the lion,
while I watch them from a distance.'
The story is suitable for a rich man who does not dare to touch his wealth
or make use of it.
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 71: Gibbs (Oxford) 547 [English]
Perry 71: Chambry 62 [Greek]
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.