Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
442. THE WOLVES AND THE HIDES
Perry 135 (Syntipas
Some wolves saw some cowhides in the river. They wanted to take the hides,
but the depth of the river in flood prevented them from doing so. The
wolves therefore decided to drink up all the water so that they could
then reach the hides. A man said to the wolves, 'If you try to drink up
all that water, you will immediately burst into pieces and die on the
The fable indicts people who recklessly embark on some senseless project.
Note: In other versions of this story (Phaedrus
1.20 and Plutarch, Common Conceptions Against the Stoics 19), the
protagonists are foolish dogs, not wolves, who do in fact drink from
the river until they burst.
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.