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

Perry 375 (Avianus 10)

There was a bald horseman who used to attach a wig to his head, wearing other people's hair on his own bald pate. One day he came to Mars Field, making a great show of himself in his splendid armour. He then began to turn his horse in manoeuvres, easily guiding him with the bridle. At that very moment, the blasts of the North Wind blew against him and made his head a source of laughter for all of the on-lookers: the wig was torn aside, revealing the gleam of his bald head, which was an entirely different colour from the hair that had been there before. But the fellow was quick-witted, and when he saw that he was being laughed at by thousands of people, he ingeniously deflected this public derision by making a joke. 'It's no surprise that the wig that was put there ran away,' he said, 'since my natural born hair already deserted me once before!'

Note: Military training and exercises took place in 'Mars Field' in Rome, where there was an ancient temple dedicated to Mars, the god of war.

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.