Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
THE JACKDAW AND THE PEACOCKS
Aesop offers us this instructive story so that we will refrain
from strutting about in other people's stuff, and instead live
our lives in the clothes that suit us.
A jackdaw, puffed up with foolish pride, found some peacock feathers that had
fallen on the ground. He picked up the feathers and, putting them on, he tried
to join the lovely peacock flock, scorning his fellow jackdaws. The peacocks,
however, tore the feathers off that presumptuous bird and pecked at him until
he went away. After having been badly mauled by the peacocks, the jackdaw then
sadly returned to his own folk, but he was cast out once again and suffered the
pain of public humiliation. One of the jackdaws whom he had originally scorned
said to him, 'If you had been content to dwell among us, satisfied with what
Nature had bestowed on you, then you would not have been humiliated by the peacocks,
nor would your disgrace have met with our rebuff.'
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 101, there is a beauty
contest among the birds; the jackdaw wears the other birds' feathers
but is recognized by the owl (Aphthonius) or the swallow (Babrius),
and the other birds thens trip and humiliate the jackdaw. In Perry
472, the jackdaw finds some peacock feathers, puts them on, but
is recognized by the peacocks as being an intruder; the peacocks drive
the jackdaw away, as do the other jackdaws. Odo
tells a very different story about borrowed feathers: the foolish
peacock gives away his feather until he has none left for himself.
In another fable of Odo, the crow
dresses up in the feathers of other birds but is then stripped bare.
Perry 472: Caxton 2.15 [English]
Perry 472: Gibbs (Oxford) 326 [English]
Perry 472: L'Estrange 33 [English]
Perry 472: Jacobs 21 [English]
Perry 472: Steinhowel 2.15 [Latin, illustrated] Mannheim
Perry 472: Ademar 26 [Latin]
Perry 472: Phaedrus 1.3 [Latin]
Perry 472: Walter of England 35 [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.