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

Perry 590 (Alexander Nequam 38)

No matter how often the magpie settled down on a perch and folded her wings, her tailfeathers still kept on twitching. Hoping to rid herself of this habit by changing her homeland, she flew across no small stretch of the sea, but in vain. As soon as the magpie alighted on the distant shore, her tailfeathers started shaking as usual. The magpie then concluded, 'By changing my country I thought my habits would change, but I'm just as bad off as before, even though I have come to the other side of the world.'
Changing your location does not change your state of mind, and the person who wants to modify his character sails the seas in vain.

Note: Nequam's epimythium is based on the proverb made famous by Horace, Epistles 1.11.27: 'people who sail across the ocean change the sky overhead, but not their state of mind.' Alexander Nequam (or Neckam) was a late twelfth-century scholar and writer who wrote a collection of Aesopic fables in verse.

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.