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

Perry 61 (Avianus 12)

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.

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.