Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
THE DONKEY, THE HORSE AND THE WAR
A donkey and a horse belonged to the same man, and each of them did his duty.
But the horse was granted many special privileges: he had plenty of food to
eat, his flowing mane was braided and decorated, and his grooms washed him down
with water each and every day. The donkey, on the other hand, was always bent
down under the weight of the burdens he had to carry. Then one day the horse's
owner mounted him and rode off into battle. In the clash of opposing forces,
the horse was wounded on more than one occasion. When the donkey saw how the
horse had been degraded, he congratulated himself on his hard-working life of
The fable shows that an impoverished life free from fear is much to be preferred
to wealth and all its dangers.
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.
In Perry 357, the donkey
envies the horse, but after the horse is taken away to war where
he is badly wounded, the donkey realizes that it is not so bad to
be a donkey. In Perry 565, the elegant race
horse makes fun of the hard-working donkey, but later on, when the
horse's racing career is over, he is made to haul manure, and the
donkey makes fun of the horse.
Perry 357: Gibbs (Oxford) 410 [English]
Perry 357: Jacobs 78 [English]
Perry 357: Townsend 304 [English]
Perry 357: Chambry 268 [Greek]
Perry 357: Syntipas 29 [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.