Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Image: Papilio et Formica

M0666 - M0667 - M0668
667. Papilio et Formica. Formica, erucam folio haerentem videns, “Iners bestia,” ait, “vivisne? An, cum Natura te fingere incepisset, noluit absolvere? Si vita fruere, quin te moves? Misera, me intuere, si potes, et disce, quam Natura animantibus pedes non tribuerit ut situ torpescerent.” Eruca conviciis nil commovetur, sed opus quod aggressa est placide exsequi pergit. Corticem tenuem sibi paulatim superinducit, dum se totam circumtexerit. Postquam sic sepulta fuit aliquandiu, in alitem album mutatur, vincla exuit, et ruinas dissoluti carceris linquit; in auras se tollens, volat nitidus papilio. Post dies paucos, dum ludibundus alas leves exagitat circa arbusculam virentem, formicam eniti ut ascensu truncum superet videt et “Fatere tu,” ait, “hanc vitam, quam desidem et turpem putaveras, mihi non fuisse inutilem.”

M0667 (not in Perry). Source: Desbillons 11.28 (adapted into prose; shortened). This fable is not in Perry’s catalog; Desbillons cites La Motte as his source. For another story of transformation, see the fable of the pearl and the oyster, #591.

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