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Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 14 years, 9 months ago


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ONLINE FORUM: At the Aesopus Ning Forum, you can ask questions about this fable. You will also  find links there to additional learning materials to help you in reading the Latin (vocabulary, grammar commentary, simplified version, quizzes, macrons, etc.).


Formica, ut sitim sedaret, fonticulum accessit, sed in fonticulum elapsa et paene lymphis absorpta est. Columba, arborem insidens fonticulo contiguam, ramusculum ore direptum in fonticulum deiecit, cuius adminiculo servata Formica evasit. Sed interea affuit Auceps, Columbae insidias tensurus. Formica tibiale gravissime mordebat. Cui cum fricandi gratiam admonebat, percepit id Columba et impune avolavit.


Translation: An ant, in order to slake her thirst, approached a little stream, but she fell into the stream and was almost been swallowed by the waters. A dove sitting in a tree next to the stream, took a little twig in her mouth and tossed it down into the water, and saved by this assistance, the ant escaped. But meanwhile a bird-catcher had arrived and was about to stretch out his trap for the dove. The ant bit him most painfully on the shin, and when the pleasure of scratching prompted him to scratch, the dove perceived what he was doing and flew away safely.


[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.]


The Moral of the Story:


Morale monet




reciproca retributione


et vel pusillis animalibus


fortiores interdum obligatos.


Illustration: Here is an illustration from this edition, by the renowned artist Francis Barlow; click on the image for a larger view. From the look on his face, I would say that the fowler is shown here after the little ant (you can see the ant by his foot) has bitten him, and he is reaching to scratch the bite, thus alerting the bird up in the tree to his presence. Off in the distance there is a bird flying in the sky - perhaps that is a second scene, combined with this one, showing the bird flying to safety.


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