<< Home Page | Perry Index

Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


Two men were walking down the same road together when one of them found an axe. 'Eureka!' he cried, 'I found it!' The one who didn't find the axe said to him, 'Don't say "I found it" -- say "we found it" instead.' A little while later the people who had lost the axe caught up with them, and when they started to chase the man who was holding the axe, he said to his fellow traveller, 'We are lost!' The fellow traveller answered, 'Incorrect! You should say "I am lost," not "we are lost," since when you found the axe and you said "I" found it, not "we" found it.'
The story shows that if people are not allowed to share in your good fortune, they will not stand by you in times of trouble.

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 67: Gibbs (Oxford) 93 [English]
Perry 67: L'Estrange 163 [English]
Perry 67: Townsend 118 [English]
Perry 67: Chambry 256 [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.