Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
THE WASP AND THE BUTTERFLY
A butterfly noticed a wasp flying by and exclaimed, 'What an unfair turn of
events this is! In our previous lifetimes, when we inhabited the bodies from
whose mortal remains we received our souls, I was the one who spoke eloquently
in times of peace and fought bravely in war, and I was first among my fellows
in all of the arts! Yet look at me now, an utter frivolity, crumbling into ashes
as I flutter here and there. You, on the other hand, were formerly a mule, a
beast of burden, yet now you stab and wound anyone you want with your sting.'
The wasp then uttered words that are worth repeating: 'It does not matter what
we used to be: the important thing is what we are now!'
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.
Perry 556: Gibbs (Oxford) 199 [English]
Perry 556: Phaedrus 6.31 [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.