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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


Sometimes lesser folk are accustomed to speak disparagingly to one another about their superiors; listen to a fable on this topic.
There were three goats who saw a terrified horse running away from a lion. The goats made fun of the horse, and the horse replied, 'O you hopeless fools, if only you knew who was chasing me! Then you would be just as terrified as I am.'
People with excellent qualities are often insulted by their inferiors.

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 217, a bull is running away from a lion and takes refuge in a cave; the goat (or goats) in the cave make fun of the bull, and the bull rebukes them for not understanding the truth of the matter. In Perry 578, some goats make fun of a horse who is running away from a lion, and the horse rebukes the goats for their foolish lack of understanding. Caxton bizarrely tells the story of "thre lytyll hedgehogges / whiche mocked a grete hedgehogge / whiche fled byfore a wulf."

Perry 578: Caxton 4.14 [English]
Perry 578: Gibbs (Oxford) 234 [English]
Perry 578: Steinhowel 4.14 [Latin, illustrated] Mannheim University Library

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.