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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


There were once some foxes who had gathered together on the banks of the River Meander looking for a drink of water. They urged one another to approach the river, but no one dared to get too close because of the rushing current. Then one of the foxes came forward in order to embarrass her fellow foxes. Laughing at their cowardice and convinced that she was braver than the rest, she boldly leaped into the water. As the current carried her out into the middle of the river her companions stood on the riverbank and shouted at her, 'Don't leave us! Come back and show us how to get down to the water so that we can also take a drink.' The fox replied as she was being swept downstream, 'I've got a message to take to Miletus, and I need to carry it there; when I come back I will show you!'
This is a story for people who get themselves into trouble because of their boasting.

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 232: Gibbs (Oxford) 383 [English]
Perry 232: Chambry 29 [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.