Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
558. THE WOMAN AND HER DRUNKEN HUSBAND
Perry 246 (Chambry
There was a woman whose husband was always drunk, so she came up with
a plan to cure him of his drinking problem. After he had passed out one
night and was sleeping the sleep of the dead, she picked him up and carried
him on her shoulders to the common cemetery. Then she put him down on
the ground and left him there. She waited until he had time to sober up,
then she went and knocked at the entrance to the cemetery. Her husband
shouted, 'Who's there?' She answered, 'I am the one who brings food to
the dead.' Her husband shouted back, 'I don't want anything to eat, but
bring me something to drink, my good man! It pains me to hear you speaking
of food but saying nothing about a drink!' The woman then beat her breast
and exclaimed, 'Woe is me! My ingenuity has not accomplished anything!
O my husband, you have not simply failed to learn your lesson: you are
actually even worse than before. Your problem has turned out to be permanent!'
This fable shows that people should not regularly engage in bad behaviour
because at a certain point the habit will impose itself permanently, even
if they do not want that to happen.
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.