Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
507. JUNO AND THE PEACOCK
Perry 509 (Phaedrus
The peacock came to see Juno, because he could not accept with equanimity
the fact that the goddess had not given him the song of the nightingale.
The peacock complained that the nightingale's song was wondrously beautiful
to every ear, while he was laughed at by everyone as soon as he made the
slightest sound. Juno then consoled the peacock and said, 'You are superior
in beauty and superior in size; there is an emerald splendour that shines
about your neck, and your tail is a fan filled with jewels and painted
feathers.' The peacock protested, 'What is the point of this silent beauty,
if I am defeated by the sound of my own voice?' 'Your lot in life has
been assigned by the decision of the Fates,' said Juno. 'You have been
allotted beauty; the eagle, strength; the nightingale, harmony; the raven
has been assigned prophetic signs, while unfavourable omens are assigned
to the crow; and so each is content with his own particular gift.'
Do not strive for something that was not given to you, lest your disappointed
expectations become mired in discontent.
(Greek Hera) was the consort of Jupiter and queen of the gods. Just
as the eagle was Jupiter's special bird, the peacock was dear to Juno.
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.