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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A lion was wandering on the seashore when he saw a dolphin stick his head out of the water. The lion invited the dolphin to become his ally, explaining that they were perfectly suited to befriend and assist one another, given that the dolphin was the king of the sea creatures, while the lion ruled all the animals of the land. The dolphin agreed. Later on, the lion, who had long been at war with the wild bull, asked the dolphin for help. Although he wanted to help, the dolphin was unable to come out of the sea. The lion then reproached the dolphin for having betrayed him. The dolphin said in reply, 'I am not to blame! My nature is that of a sea creature, and it means that I cannot come out onto the land.'
The same is true of people. When we form friendships with one another, we must choose allies who can come to our aid in moments of peril.

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 145: Gibbs (Oxford) 55 [English]
Perry 145: Townsend 103 [English]
Perry 145: Chambry 202 [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.