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

Perry 584 (Avianus 38)

Carried from his fresh-water pond by a rushing stream, a fresh-water fish rushed headlong into the waters of the sea. The shameless creature scorned the scaly schools in the sea and boasted endlessly of his own illustrious origins. A salt-water fish could not suffer this refugee in his own ancestral waters and he spoke these pungent words, naturally salted with wit: 'Enough of your empty lies and pretentious talk; you yourself are the best evidence of their absurdity. If the two of us are captured and hauled in by the same dripping net, I will be able to prove to you just who is more highly regarded by the crowd of onlookers: you will see that I am bought by the connoisseur at a very high price indeed, while you will be sold to an undiscriminating commoner for a mere penny or two!'

Note: Avianus simply refers to the fresh-water fish as piscis, fish. As for the salt-water fish, phukis, it is not entirely clear what species he had in mind: Greek sources suggest it is some kind of wrasse, although Pliny (Natural History 9.26) seems to think it is a lamprey.

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.