Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
335. THE RAVEN AND THE SWAN
Perry 398 (Aphthonius
A story about a raven, exhorting us to do what is natural to us.
The raven saw the swan and envied his white colour. Thinking that his
own colour was due to the water in which he bathed, the raven abandoned
the altars where he found his food and instead joined the swans in the
swamps and the rivers. This did nothing at all to change the raven's colour,
but he starved to death from a lack of food.
A change of habit cannot alter a person's nature.
Note: Compare the English proverb 'a crow is never the whiter for washing
herself often' (John Ray, English Proverbs (1670), 121).
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.