Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
368. THE SATYR AND HIS GUEST
Perry 35 (Avianus
As winter grew rough with heavy frost and every field stiffened as the
ice grew hard, a traveller was brought to a halt by thickening fog. He
could no longer see the trail in front of him, making it impossible to
go on. A satyr, one of the guardians of the woods, is said to have taken
pity on the man and offered him shelter in his cave. This child of the
fields was then amazed by the man and terrified by his prodigious powers.
First, in order to restore his frozen limbs to life's activities, the
man thawed his hands by blowing hot air on them from his mouth. Then,
when the man had begun to get warm and was eager to enjoy his host's extravagant
hospitality (for the satyr wanted to show the man how country folk lived,
offering him the forest's finest products), he brought out a full bowl
of warm wine whose heat could spread throughout the man's body and dispel
the winter's chill. But the man hesitated to touch the steaming cup with
his lips and this time his mouth emitted a cooling breath. The man's host
shook with terror, dumbfounded at this double portent. The satyr drove
his guest out into the woods and ordered him to be on his way. 'Do not
let any man ever come near my cave again,' said the satyr, 'if he can
breathe in two different ways from the very same mouth!'
Note: Satyrs were mythical creatures who were part human and part animal.
They were usually represented as men with the legs and tail of a goat,
or sometimes the tail of a horse.
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.