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Fable of the Day: De Asino, Simia et Talpa

[Note: You can find more of these fables at the old blog address for Latin Via Fables.]

Title
: De Asino, Simia et Talpa: Donkey, Monkey and Mole, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Conquerenti Asino quod cornibus careret, Simiae vero quod cauda sibi deesset, "Tacete," inquit Talpa, cum me oculis captam esse videatis." Haec fabula ad eos pertinet, qui non sunt sua sorte contenti; qui, si aliorum infortunia considerarent, aequiori animo tolerarent sua.


Here is a segmented version to help you see the grammatical patterns:



Conquerenti Asino
quod cornibus careret,
Simiae vero
quod cauda sibi deesset,
"Tacete," inquit Talpa,
cum
me
oculis captam esse
videatis."
Haec fabula
ad eos pertinet,
qui non sunt
sua sorte contenti;
qui,
si aliorum infortunia considerarent,
aequiori animo
tolerarent sua.

Crossword Puzzle: While I am in the process of moving to North Carolina, I may be slow to add the crossword puzzled, but I'll get caught up eventually. If you subscribe to the Bestiaria Latina round-up, you can find out when new materials are added.



Translation:



A donkey was complaining that he lacked horns, while a monkey was complaining that she lacked a tail. The mole said to them, "Silence your complaining, since you can see that I am deprived of eyes." This fable applies to those who are not happy with their own fate - those who, if they would consider the misfortunes of others, would bear their own misfortunes with a more patient attitude.



[This translation is meant as a help in understanding the story, not as a "crib" for the Latin. I have not hesitated to change the syntax to make it flow more smoothly in English, altering the verb tense consistently to narrative past tense, etc.]



Source: Abstemius 18 (You can see a 1499 edition of Abstemius online, but I am doing my transcription from the 1568 edition of Aesopi fabulae in the EEBO catalog.)



Another English translation. Sir Roger L'Estrange included the fables of Abstemius in his amazing 17th-century edition of Aesop's fables, but this fable is sadly missing from L'Estrange's English edition. So, to be honest, I'm not sure if this fable has ever been put into English anywhere before now! :-)


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