Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
THE WEASEL AND THE FILE
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.
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
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.