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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


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.'

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 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 University Library
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.