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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A weasel went into a blacksmith's shop and there she came across an iron file. She began to lick the file with delight, scraping her tongue in a mad effort to overpower the instrument of iron. The weasel's tongue started to bleed, making her even happier; the taste of blood made her think she was actually devouring the file. So the weasel kept on licking until her tongue was completely gone.
This story shows that people who think there is a profit in some useless activity will get so carried away by what they are doing that they destroy themselves.

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 59: Gibbs (Oxford) 304 [English]
Perry 59: Chambry 77 [Greek]
Perry 59: Syntipas 5 [Greek]

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.