Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
181. THE SWALLOW AND THE SNAKE
Perry 227 (Babrius
Spring had arrived, and a twittering swallow (that bird who dwells in
human houses) built her nest in the wall of the place which is home to
the elderly jurors of the court. In that hall of justice, the mother bird
gave birth to seven baby birds. But a snake came creeping out from his
hole and devoured all the chicks one by one. The wretched mother bewailed
the untimely demise of her children and said, 'Woe is me, and woe is my
lot in life! This is the place where mankind's laws and judgments are
made but I, a swallow, am the victim of injustice and have to run away.'
Note: This fable can also be found in the Greek Anthology, 7.210, although
that version is not set in a courthouse (and the story ends with the
snake falling into a fire).
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.