Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
150. THE BOY AND THE THIEF
Perry 581 (Avianus
A boy was weeping as he sat upon a well at the water's edge, his mouth
gasping and gulping in a great show of extravagant sobs. A sly thief noticed
that the boy was crying and asked him why he was so distraught. The boy
pretended that his rope had snapped and broken, and that he was bewailing
the loss of a golden jug that had fallen down into the well. Without a
moment's hesitation, the thief's criminal fingers peeled off his hampering
garments and he plunged directly into the depths of the well. As the story
goes, the little boy then tied the thief's cloak around his own little
neck and disappeared out of sight in the bushes. After the thief had risked
danger for a deceptive reward, he plopped down on the ground and lamented
the loss of his cloak. The clever thief is said to have made the following
speech as he sighed and complained to the gods of heaven: 'So be it! From
now on, if anybody is foolish enough to think there could be a jug lurking
beneath these transparent waters, let him beware! He will loose the shirt
off his back, just as he deserves.'
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.