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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A story about a donkey, urging us not to yearn for more than we deserve.
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.

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.

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 University Library
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.