<< Home Page | Oxford (Gibbs) Index

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

Perry 399 (Aphthonius 2)

A story about a goose and a swan, exhorting young people to study.
A wealthy man wanted to raise a goose and a swan together but for different purposes: the swan was for singing and the goose was for eating. The time came for the goose to meet his appointed fate and have his throat cut. Yet the darkness of nighttime prevented the man from knowing which bird was which. As a result, he grabbed the swan instead of the goose. The swan then declared his true nature by bursting into a swan-song, and thus narrowly escaped from death.
The fable shows that music is so powerful that it can even avert death.

Note: For another fable with the swan song motif, see Fable 284.

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.