Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
272. THE MAN AND THE INSECT
Perry 387 (Syntipas
A cicada saw that a man was trying to capture him, so he said, 'Why don't
you go and hunt those birds instead? They would actually be useful to
you! You don't stand to gain anything by catching me.'
This fable shows that we should not go chasing after things that are
useless and unprofitable.
Note: In the Life of Aesop (99), Aesop tells a more elaborate version
of this story in which the man does eventually let the insect go.
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.