Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
THE ANT AND THE DUNG BEETLE
During the summer, the ant went around the fields collecting grains of wheat
and barley so that he could store up some food for the winter. A dung beetle
watched the ant and decided that he must be a wretched creature since he worked
all the time, never taking a moment's rest, unlike the other animals. The ant
didn't pay attention to the dung beetle and simply went about his business.
When winter came and the dung was washed away by the rain, the beetle grew hungry.
He went to the ant and begged him to share a little bit of his food. The ant
replied, 'O beetle, if you had done some work yourself instead of making fun
of me while I was working so hard, then you would not need to be asking me for
The fable teaches us that we should not neglect important things that require
our attention, and instead we should attend in good time to our future well-being.
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.
|In Perry 112, a dung beetle makes
fun of the ant for working all the time but then in the winter the
dung beetle has no food, and the ant refuses to share. In Perry
373, the story is told about a cricket and an ant.
Perry 112: Gibbs (Oxford) 125 [English]
Perry 112: Chambry 241 [Greek]
You can find a compilation of Perry's index to the Aesopica in the gigantic appendix to his
edition of Babrius and Phaedrus for the Loeb Classical Library
(Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1965). This book is an absolute must for anyone interested
in the Aesopic fable tradition. Invaluable.