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

Perry 89 (Chambry 110 *)

Hermes wanted to test Tiresias's prophetic power, so the god stole some of Tiresias' cattle from the pasture. He then assumed human form and went to the city in order to pay Tiresias a visit. When Tiresias was told about the loss of his cattle, he took Hermes with him and they went out together to seek an auspice regarding the theft. Tiresias asked Hermes to tell him about any sign from the birds that he happened to see. The first sign Hermes saw was an eagle flying from the left to the right, and he reported this to Tiresias. Tiresias said that this didn't have anything to do with the cattle. Next, Hermes saw a crow sitting on a tree who first looked up and then looked down towards the ground. Hermes reported this observation to the soothsayer and at this point Tiresias declared, 'Yes, that crow is swearing by both Heaven and Earth that I could get my cattle back... if you were willing to cooperate!'
This fable can be used for a man who is a thief.

Note: Tiresias was a legendary prophet who was able to interpret the signs of the gods, such as the flight of birds and other natural portents, but because he was blind, his interpretation of the signs depended on hearing reports from sighted persons, as in this fable.

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.