Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
THE SICK MAN AND HIS WIFE
A poor man had taken ill and was in very bad shape. When the doctors had given
up hope, since he didn't have anything he could pay with, the man called upon
the gods and vowed 'O you great and radiant divinities, if you restore my health,
I will bring a hundred oxen to you as a sacrifice.' His wife then asked him,
'Where are you going to get a hundred oxen from, if you get well?' The man said
to her, 'And do you suppose I am going to ever get out of this bed so that the
gods will be able to demand payment?'
The story shows that people are often quick to make promises, but they do
not really expect to have to fulfill them.
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.
Perry 34: Gibbs (Oxford) 478 [English]
Perry 34: Chambry 46 [Greek]
You can find a compilation of Perry's index to the Aesopica in the gigantic appendix to his
edition of Babrius and Phaedrus for the Loeb Classical Library
(Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1965). This book is an absolute must for anyone interested
in the Aesopic fable tradition. Invaluable.