<< Home Page | Perry Index

Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A fisherman was catching fish by the sea. A monkey saw him, and wanted to imitate what he was doing. The man went away into a little cave to take a rest, leaving his net on the beach. The monkey came and grabbed the net, thinking that he too would go fishing. But since he didn't know anything about it and had not had any training, the monkey got tangled up in the net, fell into the sea, and was drowned. The fisherman seized the monkey when he was already done for and said, 'You wretched creature! Your lack of judgment and stupid behaviour has cost you your life!'
This fable shows that people who try to imitate their superiors end up only destroying themselves.

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 203: Gibbs (Oxford) 337 [English]
Perry 203: Townsend 137 [English]
Perry 203: Chambry 304 [Greek]
Perry 203: Syntipas 46 [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.