Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
303. THE GOOSE AND THE SWAN
Perry 399 (Aphthonius
A story about a goose and a swan, exhorting young people to study.
A wealthy man wanted to raise a goose and a swan together but for different
purposes: the swan was for singing and the goose was for eating. The time
came for the goose to meet his appointed fate and have his throat cut.
Yet the darkness of nighttime prevented the man from knowing which bird
was which. As a result, he grabbed the swan instead of the goose. The
swan then declared his true nature by bursting into a swan-song, and thus
narrowly escaped from death.
The fable shows that music is so powerful that it can even avert death.
Note: For another fable with the swan song motif, see Fable
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.