Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
184. WINTER AND SPRING
Perry 271 (Chambry
Winter made fun of Spring and mocked her for the fact that as soon as
spring appears, nobody can keep still: some people go off to the meadows
or into the woods, others like to gather flowers and lilies or perhaps
to gaze upon a rose as they twirl it in the air or to twine it in their
hair; while some board ships and even cross the sea to meet different
kinds of people; no one worries any longer about the winds or the great
downpours of rain from the sky. 'Whereas I resemble a dictator or a despot,'
said Winter. 'I command everyone to look not at the sky but down toward
the ground; I frighten them and make them tremble and sometimes I make
them content themselves while having to stay indoors all day.' Spring
replied, 'Indeed, that is exactly why mankind would be glad to get rid
of you, whereas even the mere mention of my name is enough to bring them
pleasure. By Zeus, there is no name more pleasant than mine! That is why
they think fondly of me when I am gone and give thanks when I appear again.'
Note: This topos is also found in the medieval poem Conflictus
veris et hiemis, attributed to Alcuin (d. 804).
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.