• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!



Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 15 years, 5 months ago


HOME | Osius: Previous Page - Next Page





Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 511.


Iam Mustela suis languens et tardior annis,

Non potis, ut Mures assequeretur, erat.

Ergo quaerendi praedas excogitat artem,

Muribus hac utens insidiata fuit.

Frumenti furtim sese implicat illa maniplo,

Hac conata cibos fraude parare latet.

Huc fruges quoniam veniunt arrodere Mures,

Incautos nullo paene labore capit.

Cum te deficiunt imbelli corpore vires,

Consilio prudens utere, cedet opus.


Here is the poem in a more prose-like word order for easy reading:


Mustela iam languens et tardior suis annis,

non potis erat ut Mures assequeretur.

Ergo excogitat artem quaerendi praedas,

utens hac arte Muribus insidiata fuit.

Furtim illa implicat sese maniplo frumenti,

hac fraude latet conata parare cibos.

Quoniam huc Mures veniunt arrodere fruges,

capit incautos paene nullo labore.

Cum vires deficiunt te, imbelli corpore,

prudens utere consilio; opus cedet.


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Iam Mus~tela su~is lan~guens et ~ tardior ~ annis,

Non potis, ~ ut Mu~res = asseque~retur, e~rat.

Ergo ~ quaeren~di prae~das ex~cogitat ~ artem,

Muribus ~ hac u~tens = insidi~ata fu~it.

Frumen~ti fur~tim se~s(e) implicat ~ illa ma~niplo,

Hac co~nata ci~bos = fraude pa~rare la~tet.

Huc fru~ges quo~niam veni~unt ar~rodere ~ Mures,

Incau~tos nul~lo = paene la~bore ca~pit.

Cum te ~ defici~unt im~belli ~ corpore ~ vires,

Consili~o pru~dens = utere, ~ cedet o~pus.




A weasel who was now weak and getting old in years was not able to hunt Mice, so she thought up a technique for seeking her prey; using this technique, she lay in wait for the Mice. Secretly she rolled herself in a handful of grain; by means of this trick she hid herself, trying to obtain food. Thus when the Mice came to nibble at the grain, she seized the reckless Mice with practically no trouble at all. When your strength fails you and your body is not battle-worthy, be wise and make a plan; the work will move right along.


[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.]




Here is an illustration from the 1575 edition; click on the image for a larger view.




This is another illustration in Osius that does not match the story very well (it looks more like an illustration of the dialogue between the man and the weasel), but you can see the weasel and the mice more clearly here in this illustration from a 1501 edition of Aesop's fables; click on the image for a larger view.


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.