<< Home Page | Perry Index

Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A man finally caught a flea that had been bothering him terribly. He shouted at the flea, 'Just who do you think you are, feeding on all the limbs of my body here and there, eating me up as you please?' The flea responded, 'That is how we live! Please don't kill me; I cannot be causing you too much harm.' The man laughed at the flea and said, 'I'm going to kill you here and now with my very own hands: any kind of evil, whether it is big or small, should not be allowed to exist under any circumstances whatsoever!'
The fable shows that no mercy should be shown to someone who is wicked, regardless of whether his wickedness is great or small.

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 272: Caxton 6.15 [English]
Perry 272: Gibbs (Oxford) 120 [English]
Perry 272: L'Estrange 138 [English]
Perry 272: Townsend 290 [English]
Perry 272: Steinhowel 6.15 [Latin, illustrated] Mannheim University Library
Perry 272: Chambry 357 [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.