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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


There was a miser who sold his property and bought a lump of gold. The man then buried his gold just outside the city walls, where he constantly went to visit and inspect it. One of the workmen noticed the man's behaviour and suspected the truth. Accordingly, after the man had gone away, he took the gold. When the man came back and found that the hiding place was empty, he began to cry and tear his hair. Someone saw the man's extravagant grief and asked him what was wrong. Then he said to the man, 'Enough of your grieving! Take a stone and put it where the gold was, and make believe the gold is still there: it's not as if you ever made any use of it!'
The story shows that there is no point in owning something unless you put it to good use.

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 225: Gibbs (Oxford) 407 [English]
Perry 225: Jacobs 63 [English]
Perry 225: L'Estrange 144 [English]
Perry 225: Townsend 38 [English]
Perry 225: Chambry 344 [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.