Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
248. THE HARES AND THE FROGS
Perry 138 (Aphthonius
A story about hares meant to comfort unhappy people.
The hares voted to commit suicide and once they had resolved to die, they
had only to decide on the location. The hares concluded that the pond
would be an appropriate place, so they headed off in that direction, planning
to take their own lives. The frogs who lived on the banks of the pond
could not endure the thumping of the hares' approach, so they scampered
into their hiding places beneath the water. One of the older hares saw
them and said, 'Overturn this vote in favour of death! Look: there are
actually creatures who are even more cowardly than we are!'
Unhappy people are comforted by the sight of someone who is worse off
than they are.
Note: Hares were the proverbial cowards of ancient Greece. The phrase
'a hare's life' was used to indicate someone who lived in a state of
constant fear (e.g., Demosthenes,
On The Crown 263).
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.