Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
171. HERMES, THE MAN AND THE ANTS
Perry 306 (Babrius
There was once a ship that sank with all hands on board. A man who saw
what had happened said that the gods' judgment was unfair: because of
just one sinner who was on board the ship, many men had died together
with him, even though they were innocent. While the man was speaking,
a swarm of ants started crawling over him as they rushed in their usual
frenzy to feed on some bits of wheat chaff. When one of the ants bit the
man, he proceeded to trample a considerable number of them underfoot.
Hermes then appeared and struck the man with his wand as he said, 'So,
are you going to let the gods pass judgment on you humans just as you
have passed judgment on the ants?'
Note: The god Hermes
carried a special wand in his role as a messenger and herald of the
gods, in addition to his famous winged sandals.
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.