Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
THE FLEA AND THE OX
A flea once asked an ox, 'Given that you are so exceedingly large and strong,
why do you suffer this enslavement to people day after day? Look at me: I lacerate
their flesh without pity, drinking great gulps of their blood!' The ox said,
'I cannot help but be grateful to the human race, since I am cherished and loved
by them to an extraordinary degree, and since they often rub my forehead and
shoulders.' The flea admitted, 'Woe is me! This rubbing of which you are so
fond is the worst thing that can happen to me: when they do that, I die.'
This fable shows that braggarts can be easily exposed.
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 273: Gibbs (Oxford) 226 [English]
Perry 273: Townsend 246 [English]
Perry 273: Chambry 358 [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.