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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


The halcyon is a bird who is fond of deserted places and who always lives on the sea. They say that she makes her nest on the rocky cliffs of the coast in order to protect herself from human hunters. So when a certain halcyon was about to lay her eggs, she went to a promontory and found a rock jutting out towards the sea and decided to make her nest there. But when she went to look for food, it happened that the sea swelled under the blustering wind and reached as high as the halcyon's home and flooded the nest, killing her chicks. When the halcyon returned and saw what had happened, she said, 'What a fool I was to have protected myself against a plot hatched on the land by taking refuge here on the sea, when it is the sea that has utterly betrayed me!'
There are people who do the same thing: while defending themselves against their enemies, they unwittingly fall prey to friends who turn out to be far more dangerous.

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 25: Gibbs (Oxford) 456 [English]
Perry 25: L'Estrange 168 [English]
Perry 25: Chambry 28 [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.