Sunday, September 26, 2010

Illustrated: Mercator et Mures Aes Erodentes


M0854 - M0855 - M0856

855. Mercator et Mures Aes Erodentes. Deposuerat mercator apud hospitem suum magnum pondus aeris. Venit aliquando et repetit. Ille mures erosisse dicit. “Dii boni,” mercator dicit, “quid narras? Sed bene habet, quod evasisti voracitatem ipsorum.” Dum discedit mercator, filium hospitis sui, ante aedes discurrentem absque custode, abducit. Postero die, offert se conspectui hospitis, qui apud illum conquerebatur et deplorabat amissionem filii sui. Tum mercator “Ego heri,” inquit, “non procul ab aedibus tuis puerum vidi raptum a corvo auferri.” “A corvo,” exclamat ille, “puerum auferri? Quis tam validus corvus esse potuit?” Ibi mercator “Qua in terra,” inquit, “mures aes erodunt, in ea verisimile est reperiri corvos qui pueros rapiant.” At hospes, se suis artibus petitum sentiens, pollicetur se pretium aeris persoluturum rogatque mercatorem puerum sibi ut restituat.

Mures Ferrum Edentes

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M0855 = (not in Perry). Source: Camerarius 384 (shortened). This fable is not in Perry’s catalog; it is a story found in the Panchatantra tradition. In a collection of wonder legends, De mirabilibus auscultationibus, spuriously attributed to Aristotle, it is said that the mice on the Greek island of Gyarus were able to eat iron. For a fable about mice who eat their way through walls, see #212.

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