Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
294. THE FARMER AND THE CRANES
Perry 297 (Babrius
There were some cranes who came to nibble at a field which a farmer had
recently sown with wheat. For a while the farmer was able to chase the
cranes away by waving an empty sling to frighten them. Eventually the
cranes realized that the swinging of the sling in the air did them no
harm, so they ignored the farmer whenever he tried to chase them away.
Finally the farmer abandoned his initial strategy and began throwing rocks
at the cranes, crippling a good many of them. As the cranes abandoned
the field they cried to one another, 'Let's run away to the land of the
Pygmies! This man is no longer just trying to frighten us: he has actually
started to do something about it!'
Note: The enmity between the cranes and the legendary 'Pygmies' was
an ancient Greek legend (e.g. Homer,
Iliad 3.1 ff.).
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.