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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


There was a man who wanted to buy a donkey. He selected one donkey for further examination and led him to where his own donkeys were, leaving him by the feeding trough. The new donkey went and stood next to the donkey who was the laziest and greediest of them all, ignoring all the others. As the new donkey showed no signs of any better behaviour, the man led him away again, returning him to his former master. When asked whether he had given the donkey a fair chance, the man explained, 'I don't even need to put him to the test: I know what kind of donkey he is because of the company he keeps.'
The story shows that a person is considered similar to the people whose companionship he enjoys.

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 237: Gibbs (Oxford) 307 [English]
Perry 237: Townsend 255 [English]
Perry 237: Chambry 263 [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.