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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A horse who was overly proud of his elegant trappings happened to run into a donkey. The donkey was worn out with work and slow to make way for the approaching horse. 'I am tempted to smash you to pieces with my hooves,' said the horse. The donkey said nothing and only groaned, calling upon the gods to take note of his suffering. Not long afterwards, the horse, now a broken down wreck from his life on the race track, was sent to work on a farm. When the donkey saw the horse carrying a load of manure, he laughed and said, 'What has happened to you, who were once so proud of your elegant trappings? Time has reduced you to the wretchedness you formerly scorned!'
When prosperous folk are inclined to look down on others, they should hesitate, mindful of the fact that nobody knows what the future may bring.

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 357, the donkey envies the horse, but after the horse is taken away to war where he is badly wounded, the donkey realizes that it is not so bad to be a donkey. In Perry 565, the elegant race horse makes fun of the hard-working donkey, but later on, when the horse's racing career is over, he is made to haul manure, and the donkey makes fun of the horse.

Perry 565: Caxton 3.3 [English]
Perry 565: Gibbs (Oxford) 418 [English]
Perry 565: L'Estrange 38 [English]
Perry 565: Townsend 222 [English]
Perry 565: Steinhowel 3.3 [Latin, illustrated] Mannheim University Library
Perry 565: Ademar 37 [Latin]
Perry 565: Rom. Anglicus 97 [Latin]
Perry 565: Walter of England 43 [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.