<< Home Page | Perry Index

Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


In Athens, there was a man who had taken out a loan and was now being asked by the creditor to pay back the money. At first he asked the creditor to give him an extension, since he said he couldn't manage to find the cash. But he could not get the creditor to agree, so he brought the only pig that he had, a sow, and put it up for sale as the creditor was looking on. A buyer approached and asked if the sow was a good breeder. The man replied that she was indeed; in fact, her litters were miraculous: for the Mysteries she gave birth only to female piglets, while for the Panathenaea Festival she gave birth only to males. When the buyer was dumbfounded by this story, the creditor added, 'That's nothing! For the Festival of Dionysus, she gives birth to baby goats.'
This story shows that when it serves their purposes, people commonly do not hesitate to swear to the most incredible fabrications.

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.

Perry 5: Gibbs (Oxford) 559 [English]
Perry 5: Chambry 10 [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.