<< Home Page | Perry Index

Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


There was a bullock who had been turned loose in the fields without ever having borne the burden of the yoke. When he saw a hard-working bull who was pulling a plow, the bullock said to him, 'You poor thing! What a lot of hard work you have to endure!' The bull made no reply and continued pulling the plow. Later on, when the people were about to make a sacrifice to the gods, the old bull was unyoked and led out to pasture, while the young bullock who had never done any work was dragged away by a rope that they had tied to his horns. Seeing that the young bullock was doomed to pour his blood out upon the altar, the old bull then said to him, 'This is the reason why you were not required to do any work. Although you are young, you are setting out on this journey ahead of your elders: you are going to be sacrificed, and your neck is going to chafe not under the yoke, but under the axe!'

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 300: Gibbs (Oxford) 215 [English]
Perry 300: Townsend 82 [English]
Perry 300: Babrius 37 [Greek]
Perry 300: Chambry 92 [Greek]
Perry 300: Avianus 36 [Latin]

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.