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

Perry 405 (Syntipas 48)

There was a man who was prudent in his prosperity, although he was somewhat too proud of himself. He enjoyed a comfortable life, together with his children, but after a while he lost all his money. Suffering from spiritual distress (which is only natural in such circumstances), the man uttered blasphemies and even felt compelled to commit suicide, because he would rather die than live in such wretched circumstances. Accordingly, he took his sword and set out to find a deserted place. On his way, he came across a deep pit in which he found some gold -- and a great sum of gold it was! The gold had been left there by a Cyclops, which is a kind of giant. When this god-fearing man noticed the gold, he was overwhelmed at first by both terror and delight. He then cast aside his sword, took up the gold, and went back home to his children, filled with joy. Later, the Cyclops came back to the pit. When he did not find his gold there, but saw instead a sword lying in its place, he immediately picked up the sword and killed himself.
The story shows that bad things naturally happen to bad people, while good things lie in wait for people who are honest and reasonable.

Note: In classical Greek mythology, the Cyclops is an anti-social giant who lives in caves; this story's representation of a Cyclops guarding buried treasure appears to be unprecedented, although it may be connected with legends about their building walls and fortifications, as well as their associations with the underworld (e.g., Vergil, Aeneid 6.630).

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.