Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
THE MAN AND THE NEW DONKEY
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.
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
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.