Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
499. THE LARK AND HER CREST
Perry 447 (Aristophanes,
Birds 471 ff.)
Aesop says that the crested lark was the first bird to be created, even
before Gaia, the Earth. As a result, when the lark's father became sick
and died, there was no earth to bury him in. On the fifth day that his
body had been lying there, the frustrated lark, not knowing what else
to do, buried her father in her own head.
Note: Aelian, Characteristics of Animals 16.5, links this story in
Aristophanes to a similar story about the hoopoe which he claims to
have found in the legends of 'Indian Brahmins.' Both stories provide
an aetiology for the bird's crest of feathers, although the metamorphosis
of the lark is only implied in the Greek version.
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.