Monday, September 13, 2010

illustrated: Vespertilio et Merula

M0400 - M0401 - M0402
401. Vespertilio et Merula. Suspensa ante fenestram in cavea, merula noctu cantabat. Ad quam advolans, vespertilio rogat cur non die potius canat, et noctu acquiescat. “Quia enim,” inquit illa, “interdiu cantitans, prodita et capta fui, itaque nunc, malo edocta, die taceo.” Tum vespertilio “Sed tu enim,” inquit, “sero caves, quam priusquam apprehendereris tacere oportuit.”

Luscinia et Vespertilio

Click here for a SLIDESHOW of all the Medici Aesop images. On the left you see the first part of the story, where the bird is caught; then on the right, you can see the bat and the bird (I sure wish there were some higher-resolution images of the Medici Aesop online!).

M0401 = Perry048. Source: Camerarius 76. This is Perry 48. In Greek, the nocturnal songbird is called a botalis, and its identity is unknown. As a result, you can find a variety of birds in different versions of this fable. For preventative measures that come too late, see the story of the bear and his wife, #134.