<< Home Page | Perry Index

Perry's Index to the Aesopica

Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:


During the wintertime, an ant was living off the grain that he had stored up for himself during the summer. The cricket came to the ant and asked him to share some of his grain. The ant said to the cricket, 'And what were you doing all summer long, since you weren't gathering grain to eat?' The cricket replied, 'Because I was busy singing I didn't have time for the harvest.' The ant laughed at the cricket's reply, and hid his heaps of grain deeper in the ground. 'Since you sang like a fool in the summer,' said the ant, 'you better be prepared to dance the winter away!'
This fable depicts lazy, careless people who indulge in foolish pastimes, and therefore lose out.

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.

In Perry 112, a dung beetle makes fun of the ant for working all the time but then in the winter the dung beetle has no food, and the ant refuses to share. In Perry 373, the story is told about a cricket and an ant.

Perry 373: Caxton 4.17 [English]
Perry 373: Gibbs (Oxford) 126 [English]
Perry 373: Jacobs 36 [English]
Perry 373: Townsend 13 [English]
Perry 373: Steinhowel 4.17 [Latin, illustrated] Mannheim University Library
Perry 373: Aphthonius 1 [Greek]
Perry 373: Babrius 140 [Greek]
Perry 373: Chambry 336 [Greek]
Perry 373: Syntipas 43 [Greek]
Perry 373: Ademar 56 [Latin]
Perry 373: Avianus 34 [Latin]
Perry 373: Rom. Anglicus 87 [Latin]
Perry 373: Rom. Nil. (metrica) 42 [Latin]
Perry 373: Rom. Nil. (rhythmica) 2.30 [Latin]

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.