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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:


A jackdaw saw that the doves in a dovecote were very well fed, so he dyed himself white and went to join them, expecting to share in their food. So long as the jackdaw kept quiet, the doves thought he was another dove and accepted him, but when he forgot to keep quiet and let out a squawk, the pigeons then recognized who he was and they pecked at him until he went away. Unable to feed with the doves, he then went back again to the jackdaws. But because they did not recognize his colour, they kept him away from their food and the jackdaw ended up with nothing to eat at all.
The story shows that we too must be contented with our lot in life, since being greedy for more is pointless and can even deprive us of the things that are ours.

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.


Perry 129: Gibbs (Oxford) 325 [English]
Perry 129: L'Estrange 181 [English]
Perry 129: Townsend 192 [English]
Perry 129: Chambry 163 [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.