<< Home Page | Perry Index

Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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

THE DONKEY AND THE CRICKET

A donkey heard the sound of a cricket chirping and he enjoyed the sound so much that he asked, 'What kind of food gives you that sweet-sounding voice?' The cricket replied, 'My food is the air and the dew.' The donkey thought that this diet would also make him sound like a cricket, so he clamped his mouth shut, letting in only the air and having nothing but dew for his food. In the end, he died of hunger.
This fable shows that you must not act unnaturally, trying to achieve some impossible thing.

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 184: Gibbs (Oxford) 340 [English]
Perry 184: Townsend 3 [English]
Perry 184: Chambry 278 [Greek]
Perry 184: Syntipas 1 [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.