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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A boy was weeping as he sat upon a well at the water's edge, his mouth gasping and gulping in a great show of extravagant sobs. A sly thief noticed that the boy was crying and asked him why he was so distraught. The boy pretended that his rope had snapped and broken, and that he was bewailing the loss of a golden jug that had fallen down into the well. Without a moment's hesitation, the thief's criminal fingers peeled off his hampering garments and he plunged directly into the depths of the well. As the story goes, the little boy then tied the thief's cloak around his own little neck and disappeared out of sight in the bushes. After the thief had risked danger for a deceptive reward, he plopped down on the ground and lamented the loss of his cloak. The clever thief is said to have made the following speech as he sighed and complained to the gods of heaven: 'So be it! From now on, if anybody is foolish enough to think there could be a jug lurking beneath these transparent waters, let him beware! He will loose the shirt off his back, just as he deserves.'

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 581: Caxton Avyan 18 [English]
Perry 581: Gibbs (Oxford) 150 [English]
Perry 581: Steinhowel Avyan 18 [Latin, illustrated] Mannheim University Library
Perry 581: Avianus 25 [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.