Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
THE FARMERS, THE DONKEY AND THE LION SKIN
A story about a donkey, urging us not to yearn for more than
A donkey wanted to appear to be a lion. Since he could not change his nature,
he tried to realize his dreams by a change of costume, and like a lion he wreaked
havoc on the fruits of the farmers' labour. But when a gust of wind blew up,
it stripped the lion bare of his disguise. As soon as the farmers whose crops
he had eaten saw that he was just a donkey, they came and clubbed him to death.
Adornments that do not belong to you can be dangerous.
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 188, a donkey puts
on a lion's skin and scares the other animals, but the fox realizes
that the creature still brays like a donkey. In Perry
358, the donkey in a lion skin is able to scare the farmers
so that he can graze freely, but the wind blows the skin off, so
that the farmers realize their mistake and punish the donkey (or,
as in Avianus, the man grabs the
"lion" by his donkey ears; in Odo,
the farmers first recognize the donkey's braying, and then see his
donkey tails and hooves).
Perry 358: Caxton Avyan 4 [English]
Perry 358: Gibbs (Oxford) 323 [English]
Perry 358: Steinhowel Avyan 4 [Latin, illustrated] Mannheim
Perry 358: Aphthonius 10 [Greek]
Perry 358: Babrius 139 [Greek]
Perry 358: Chambry 279 [Greek]
Perry 358: Avianus 5 [Latin]
Perry 358: Odo 26 [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.