<< Home Page | Perry Index

Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A cat laid a trap for the chickens by hanging himself from a peg as if he were a sack. When the quick-witted rooster with his hooked spurs noticed the cat, he made this sharp remark: 'I've seen many sacks in my life, so I know what they look like -- and not one of them ever had the teeth of a living cat!'

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.


In Perry 79, the cat pretends to be a sack in order to trap the chickens but a wise rooster sees through the trick. In Perry 511, a weasel hides herself by rolling flour in order to catch some mice, but an old mouse sees through the trick (L'Estrange tells the story both about a cat and about a weasel).

Perry 79: Caxton 6.8 [English]
Perry 79: Gibbs (Oxford) 299 [English]
Perry 79: Townsend 140 [English]
Perry 79: Steinhowel 6.8 [Latin, illustrated] Mannheim University Library
Perry 79: Babrius 17 [Greek]
Perry 79: Chambry 13 [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.