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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A bird-catcher had set up his snare for the birds. A lark observed these preparations and asked the bird-catcher what he was doing. The man said to the lark that he was founding a city. The man then moved away from the snare. The bird, believing what the man had said, approached and ate some of the bait. Then, without realizing it, he was trapped in the snare. As the bird-catcher ran up and grabbed hold of the lark, the bird said to him, 'Look here, if this is the sort of city you are founding, you won't find many inhabitants for it!'
The story shows that households and cities are most likely to be deserted when there are harsh people in charge.

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 193: Gibbs (Oxford) 87 [English]
Perry 193: L'Estrange 97 [English]
Perry 193: Chambry 283 [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.