Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
469. THE FARMER AND THE GODDESS FORTUNE
Perry 61 (Avianus
A farmer had started turning the earth with his plow when he saw a treasure
suddenly spring into view from the depths of the furrow. His spirit soared
as he abandoned the lowly plow and drove his oxen off to better pastures.
He immediately built an altar to the earth goddess Tellus, worshipping
her for having happily bestowed on him the wealth that had been buried
inside her. While the farmer was rejoicing in his new circumstances, the
goddess Fortuna was indignant that he had not considered her equally worthy
of incense and offerings. She thus appeared to the man and gave him this
warning about the future: 'Instead of making an offering of your new-found
wealth in my temple, you are sharing it with all the other gods. Yet when
your gold is stolen and you are stricken with grief, then you will turn
to me first of all in your despair and deprivation!'
Note: Fortuna is the Roman goddess of luck. Tellus, a Latin word for
'earth' is equivalent to the Greek goddess Ge or Gaia.
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.