Fables of Aesop, The | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in September 2018 with all known ATU Classifications. Aesop Fables have Perry classification numbers which have been included in the End Notes to each of the tales. They were also used in the ATU field when no ATU classification was available for a fable. Note that Aesop as an author and Greece as the geographic location for these fables are loose categorizations due to the murky nature of Aesop's Fables in general. Read the Introductory materials to this collection to learn more. For convenience, Aesop and Greece have been used in the classifications for convenience despite the inaccuracies involved.

Fox and the Mosquitoes, The

A FOX after crossing a river got its tail entangled in a bush, and could not move. A number of Mosquitoes seeing its plight settled upon it and enjoyed a good meal undisturbed by its tail. A hedgehog strolling by took pity upon the Fox and went up to him: “You are in a bad way, neighbour,” said the hedgehog; “shall I relieve you by driving off those Mosquitoes who are sucking your blood?”

“Thank you, Master Hedgehog,” said the Fox, “but I would rather not.”

“Why, how is that?” asked the hedgehog.

“Well, you see,” was the answer, “these Mosquitoes have had their fill; if you drive these away, others will come with fresh appetite and bleed me to death.”


This is the only fable which can be traced with any plausibility to Æsop himself. At any rate, it is attributed to him on the high authority of Aristotle, Rhet. II. 20. The Roman Emperors seem to have had a special liking for this fable which they were wont to use to console provincials for the rapacity of proconsuls or procurators. Occurs in Plutarch, ed. Wittemb. IV 1. 144. Prose Æsop, 36 (from Aristotle). Gesta Romanorum, 51. Waldis, iv. 52. La Fontaine, xii. 13. L'Estrange, 254.

SurLaLune Note

Perry 427

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Fox and the Mosquitoes, The
Tale Author/Editor: Aesop
Book Title: Fables of Aesop, The
Book Author/Editor: Aesop & Jacobs, Joseph
Publisher: Macmillan & Co.
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1902
Country of Origin: Greece
Classification: Perry 427

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