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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A cat had seized a rooster and wanted to find a reasonable pretext for devouring him. He began by accusing the rooster of bothering people by crowing at night, making it impossible for them to sleep. The rooster said that this was actually an act of kindness on his part, since the people needed to be woken up in order to begin their day's work. The cat then made a second accusation, 'But you are also a sinner who violates nature's own laws when you mount your sisters and your mother.' The rooster said that this also was something he did for his masters' benefit, since this resulted in a large supply of eggs. The cat found himself at a loss and said, 'Well, even if you have an endless supply of arguments, I am still going to eat you anyway!'
The fable shows that when someone with a wicked nature has set his mind on committing some offense, he will carry out his evil acts openly even if he cannot come up with a reasonable excuse.

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 16: Caxton 6.4 [English]
Perry 16: Gibbs (Oxford) 129 [English]
Perry 16: L'Estrange 1 [English]
Perry 16: Townsend 44 [English]
Perry 16: Steinhowel 6.4 [Latin, illustrated] Mannheim University Library
Perry 16: Chambry 12 [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.