Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
101. THE FOX AND THE GROUND-BIRD
Perry 557 (Phaedrus
There is a bird that country folk call 'ground-bird,' which makes sense,
because this bird makes her nest on the ground. A ground-bird happened
to run into a conniving vixen, and as soon as she noticed her, the ground-bird
flew even higher on her wings. 'Greetings!' said the vixen, 'May I ask
why you are running away? It's not as if there were not plenty of food
for me here in the field -- grasshoppers, beetles, locusts in abundance
-- so there's nothing for you to be afraid of. I am actually very fond
of you because of your retiring manner and honest ways.' The singing bird
replied, 'Your words are certainly pleasant to hear, but I am no equal
to you on the ground. Here in the air, though, I can hold my own. Why
don't you come on up with me? This is the place where I would trust you
with my life!'
Note: Phaedrus has provided us with a folk name that is relevant to
the fable, terraneola 'ground bird,' but this name is not found in the
ancient scientific writers, making it impossible to provide an identification.
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.