Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
DEMADES AND THE ATHENIANS
The orator Demades was trying to address his Athenian audience. When he failed
to get their attention, he asked if he might tell them an Aesop's fable. The
audience agreed, so Demades began his story. 'The goddess Demeter, a swallow,
and an eel were walking together down the road. When they reached a river, the
swallow flew up in the air and the eel jumped into the water.' Demades then
fell silent. The audience asked, 'And what about the goddess Demeter?' 'As for
Demeter,' Demades replied, 'she is angry at all of you for preferring Aesop's
fables to politics!'
So it is that foolish people disregard important business in favour of frivolities.
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 63: Gibbs (Oxford) 1 [English]
Perry 63: Chambry 96 [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.