Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
472. THE MAN AND THE ORACLE
Perry 36 (Chambry
A wicked man had gone to visit Apollo in Delphi, wanting to test the
god. He took a sparrow in one hand, concealing it with his cloak, and
then stood by the oracle and inquired of the god, 'Apollo, the thing that
I am carrying in my hand: is it living, or is it dead?' The man planned
to show the sparrow alive if the god said 'dead,' and if the god said
'living,' he would strangle the sparrow immediately and present the dead
bird. But the god recognized the man's evil purpose, and said, 'Listen,
do whatever you want: it is entirely up to you whether you will show me
something living or dead!'
The fable shows that the divine gods cannot be tricked or deceived.
was the site of Apollo's main oracle in Greece.
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.