Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
348. THE EARTHWORM AND THE SNAKE
Perry 268 (Chambry
An earthworm saw a snake stretched out and envied his length. The earthworm
wanted to be as long as that snake, so he lay down beside the snake and
tried to extend himself. The worm stretched and stretched until he accidentally
split into pieces.
This is what happens to someone who competes with his superiors: he
destroys himself before he can equal them.
Note: Following Crusius as adopted by Perry, I have changed Chambry's
alopeks, 'fox' to skoleks, 'earthworm.'
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.