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

Perry 398 (Aphthonius 40)

A story about a raven, exhorting us to do what is natural to us.
The raven saw the swan and envied his white colour. Thinking that his own colour was due to the water in which he bathed, the raven abandoned the altars where he found his food and instead joined the swans in the swamps and the rivers. This did nothing at all to change the raven's colour, but he starved to death from a lack of food.
A change of habit cannot alter a person's nature.

Note: Compare the English proverb 'a crow is never the whiter for washing herself often' (John Ray, English Proverbs (1670), 121).

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.