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Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)

Perry 118 (Phaedrus App. 30)

There is an animal whose name in English is 'beaver' (although those garrulous Greeks -- so proud of their endless supply of words! -- call him castor, which is also the name of a god). It is said that when the beaver is being chased by dogs and realizes that he cannot outrun them, he bites off his testicles, since he knows that this is what he is hunted for. I suppose there is some kind of superhuman understanding that prompts the beaver to act this way, for as soon as the hunter lays his hands on that magical medicine, he abandons the chase and calls off his dogs.
If only people would take the same approach and agree to be deprived of their possessions in order to live lives free from danger; no one, after all, would set a trap for someone already stripped to the skin.

Note: This strange legend of the beaver's self-castration is attested in the Greek and Roman natural history writers (e.g., Aelian, Characteristics of Animals 6.34 and Pliny, Natural History 8.109). For a fable about the god Castor referred to here, see Fable 166.

Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
NOTE: New cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.