<< Home Page | Oxford (Gibbs) Index

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

Perry 170 (Chambry 249 *)

The doctor asked his patient, 'How are you feeling?' The patient said, 'Woe is me! I'm shivering all over, which has me very worried.' The doctor assured the patient that this was actually a good sign. The next time the doctor asked the patient how he was doing, the man replied, 'I feel awful: I'm suffering from a high fever which has me confined to bed.' Again the doctor said that this was a positive symptom. Finally a member of the man's family asked, 'How are you doing, my dear brother? I hope you get well soon!' The man replied, 'I'm dying of positive symptoms!'
The fable shows when people want to console someone who is suffering, they usually encourage him by saying things that are not true.

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.