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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


There was a young man who had lost all his possessions while gambling. He had only one piece of clothing left to keep him warm until the end of winter (although a throw of the dice was going to take this away from him too). Spring had not yet arrived but a swallow had already appeared, having left her home down in Thebes out of season. When the young man heard the tiny chirping of the swallow, he said, 'What do I need all this clothing for? That swallow means spring is just around the corner.' The man then went and joined another game. After just a few rolls of the dice, he lost his only cloak. A snowstorm blew up, accompanied by enough hail to make a body shiver, so that everyone needed an extra layer of clothing. The young man, now naked, peeped out of the doorway and saw the chattering swallow once again, lying dead on the ground like a little sparrow stricken by the cold. 'You miserable creature,' he said, 'I wish I had never laid eyes on you! You deceived yourself, and me as well.'

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 169: Gibbs (Oxford) 274 [English]
Perry 169: L'Estrange 126 [English]
Perry 169: Townsend 240 [English]
Perry 169: Babrius 131 [Greek]
Perry 169: Chambry 248 [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.