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Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)

Perry 271 (Chambry 346)

Winter made fun of Spring and mocked her for the fact that as soon as spring appears, nobody can keep still: some people go off to the meadows or into the woods, others like to gather flowers and lilies or perhaps to gaze upon a rose as they twirl it in the air or to twine it in their hair; while some board ships and even cross the sea to meet different kinds of people; no one worries any longer about the winds or the great downpours of rain from the sky. 'Whereas I resemble a dictator or a despot,' said Winter. 'I command everyone to look not at the sky but down toward the ground; I frighten them and make them tremble and sometimes I make them content themselves while having to stay indoors all day.' Spring replied, 'Indeed, that is exactly why mankind would be glad to get rid of you, whereas even the mere mention of my name is enough to bring them pleasure. By Zeus, there is no name more pleasant than mine! That is why they think fondly of me when I am gone and give thanks when I appear again.'

Note: This topos is also found in the medieval poem Conflictus veris et hiemis, attributed to Alcuin (d. 804).

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.