Perry's Index to the Aesopica
Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:
HERMES AND TIRESIAS
Hermes wanted to test Tiresias's prophetic power, so the god stole some of Tiresias'
cattle from the pasture. He then assumed human form and went to the city in
order to pay Tiresias a visit. When Tiresias was told about the loss of his
cattle, he took Hermes with him and they went out together to seek an auspice
regarding the theft. Tiresias asked Hermes to tell him about any sign from the
birds that he happened to see. The first sign Hermes saw was an eagle flying
from the left to the right, and he reported this to Tiresias. Tiresias said
that this didn't have anything to do with the cattle. Next, Hermes saw a crow
sitting on a tree who first looked up and then looked down towards the ground.
Hermes reported this observation to the soothsayer and at this point Tiresias
declared, 'Yes, that crow is swearing by both Heaven and Earth that I could
get my cattle back... if you were willing to cooperate!'
This fable can be used for a man who is a thief.
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 89: Gibbs (Oxford) 475 [English]
Perry 89: L'Estrange 170 [English]
Perry 89: Chambry 110 [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.