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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A shepherd had lost one of his sheep and begged the god for help. The man vowed that if he succeeded in finding the sheep, he would offer up another sheep to the god as a sacrifice. As he wandered about, he saw the carcass of the missing sheep chewed to pieces by a lion, and then the man began to pray, 'O god, if I can just escape the threat of this wild animal, I will offer up yet another sheep as ransom for my life!'
This fable shows that each man holds his own life dearer than any amount of wealth or profit.

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.

Perry 49: Gibbs (Oxford) 229 [English]
Perry 49: L'Estrange 200 [English]
Perry 49: Townsend 17 [English]
Perry 49: Babrius 23 [Greek]
Perry 49: Chambry 74 [Greek]
Perry 49: Syntipas 12 [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.