Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
124. THE FARMER, THE WASPS AND THE PARTRIDGES
Perry 215 (Chambry
There were once some wasps and some partridges who were terribly thirsty,
so they went to a farmer to ask him for a drink. In return for the water,
the partridges promised that they would dig around his vines so that they
would produce excellent grapes, while the wasps would stand guard over
the vines, driving away thieves by stinging them. The farmer said to them,
'But look, I have these two oxen, who do everything for me without making
bargains. It is better for me to give the water to them, not to you.'
This fable is appropriate for a man who is ungrateful.
Note: This elliptical epimythium seems to assume that this fable offers
a positive example for a man who is not usually grateful (i.e., for
a farmer who does not care for his oxen's needs). In another version
of this fable (included in Chambry's first edition of the Greek fables),
the moral focuses instead on the services offered by the wasps and the
partridges: 'This is a fable for noxious people who promise to be helpful
but who are actually very harmful.'
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.