Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
115. THE TWO DUNG BEETLES
Perry 84 (Chambry
There was a bull who was pastured on a little island. Two dung beetles
lived there too, feeding on the bull's manure. Winter was approaching,
so one of the dung beetles said to the other, 'I want to go to the mainland
and I will live there by myself during the winter. If I happen to find
a good feeding ground over there, I bring back something for you too.'
The beetle then moved to the mainland and found a lot of manure that was
all moist and fresh. He settled in and had plenty to eat. When winter
was over, he flew back to the little island where he had left the first
beetle. When the first beetle saw that the second beetle was coming back
looking so plump and fat, he asked him why he had not done what he had
promised. The second beetle replied, 'Don't blame me! It's the nature
of the place: there is plenty to eat there, but the food cannot be taken
This story fits those people who make displays of friendship at the
height of the party, but who are otherwise useless to their friends.
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.