Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
THE BUTCHER AND
Relatives and friends who cannot agree with one another will
come to a bad end, as the following fable tells us.
Some castrated sheep had been gathered together in a flock with the rams. Although
the sheep realized that the butcher had come into the flock, they pretended not
to see him. Even when they saw one of their own seized by the butcher's deadly
hands and taken away to be slaughtered, still the sheep were not afraid. Foolishly,
they said to one another, 'He keeps his hands off me, he keeps his hands off
you; let him take whom he takes.' In the end, there was only one sheep left.
This is what he reportedly said to the butcher when he saw that he too was about
to be taken away: 'We deserve to be slaughtered one after another since we didn't
realize what was happening until it was too late. The fact is, as soon as we
saw you here in our midst, back when we were all together, we should have killed
you at once by smashing you between our horns.'
This fable shows that people who do not keep an eye out for their own safety
will be utterly destroyed by evil.
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 575: Caxton 4.6 [English] with
Steinhowel's Latin text
Perry 575: Gibbs (Oxford) 58 [English]
Perry 575: Steinhowel 4.6 [Latin, illustrated] Mannheim
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.