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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


When a pig kept destroying a farmer's crops and trampling his fertile fields, the farmer cut off the pig's ear. He then let the pig go, expecting that the pig would remember what had happened to him, since he carried with him a reminder of the need to treat the farmer's crops with due respect in the future. Nevertheless, the pig was caught once again in the act of digging ruts in the ground and the treacherous animal was thus deprived of his other ear, the only one that he had left. But as soon as he was let loose again, the pig plunged his deformed head into the aforementioned crops. His multiple offenses had made him a marked pig, so the farmer caught him and consigned him to his master's sumptuous table. The farmer sliced and served the various parts of the pig at dinner but when there was no more left, the master asked what had happened to the pig's brains. The fact was that the greedy cook had stolen them, so the farmer calmed his master's understandable outrage by saying that the foolish pig didn't have any brains to begin with. 'Why else would that pig have kept risking life and limb,' said the farmer, 'and let himself be caught over and over again by the same opponent?'
This illustrative story is a warning for people who take too many risks and who can never keep their hands out of mischief.

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 583: Gibbs (Oxford) 599 [English]
Perry 583: Jacobs 74 [English]
Perry 583: Avianus 30 [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.