Translations by Terry L. Norton. Original Latin by Phaedrus follows each. The Red Kite and the Doves When doves had from a certain kite fled And by the swiftness of their wings escaped, The wily bird of prey unto them said, “Why let your lives by constant fear be shaped? To end hostilities, make me your liege, And from your anxious hearts lift terror’s siege.” On hearing him, the doves believed the kite, And in his rule, they blindly placed their trust. Then one by one, he seized them in their flight And ate them with each ruthless talon’s thrust. At last, one of the few still left observed, “We made him king. This cutthroat we deserve.” Fables of Aesop, Book I, Fable 31 Milvus et Columbae Columbae saepe cum fugissent milvum, et celeritate pennae vitassent necem, consilium raptor vertit ad fallaciam et genus inerme tali decepit dolo: “Quare sollictum potius aevum ducitis quam regem me creatis icto foedere, qui vos ab omni tutus praestem iniuria?” Illae credentes tradunt sese miluo; qui regnum adeptus coepit vesci singulas et exercere imperium saevis unguibus. Tunc de relicuis una: “Merito plectimur, (huic spiritum praedoni quae commisimus.”) Aesop on the Success of the Wicked A vicious dog attacked a man And tore deep lacerations. So he applied bread to his wounds And sopped up blood oblations. He tossed these gifts out to the dog To keep in check the cur, For he had heard such offerings The fierce beast would deter. On viewing what had just transpired, Said Aesop to the man, “Do not allow more dogs to see Your pacifying plan. “For if a sop holds them at bay, Lest they eat us alive, They’ll ever want our precious blood As their continuous bribe.” Fables of Aesop, Book II, Fable 3 Aesopus ad Quendam de Successu Inproborum Laceratus quidam morsu vehementis canis, tinctum cruore panem inmisit malefico, audierat esse quod remedium vulneris. Tunc sic Aesopus: “Noli coram pluribus hoc facere canibus, ne nos vivos devorent, cum scierint esse tale culpae praemium.” Successus inproborum plures allicit. The Eagle and the Crow No one against the mighty is secure, But might conjoined with guile none can endure. An eagle clasped a tortoise as its prey And soared aloft, but to his deep dismay, No harm the sovereign lord of air could cause Despite his razor beak and savage claws. For in the horny aegis of his race, The tortoise hid within his carapace. A crow, however, flying near espied The eagle with the plated shell and cried, “You carry in your talons a rich prize, Yet you will soon tire from this enterprise, Unless you heed the tactic I advise.” “What is your scheme?” the eagle begged to know. “But drop your burden on the rocks below, And on the flesh you easily may feed.” The eagle acquiesced and then agreed To share the booty should the plan succeed. The raptor next did as the shrewd bird indicated, The crow’s advice with all speed consummated. And he who thought that nature’s gift protected Succumbed to might by wicked guile directed. Fables of Aesop, Book II, Fable 6 Aquila et Cornix Contra potentes nemo est munitus satis; si vero accessit conciliator maleficus, vis et nequitia quicquid oppugnant ruit. Aquila in sublime sustulit testudinem. Quae cum abdidisset cornea corpus domo nec ullo pacto laedi posset condita, venit per auras cornix et propter volans: “Opimam sane praedam rapuisti unguibus; sed nisi monstraro quid sit faciendum tibi, gravi nequiquam te lassabit pondere.” Promissa parte suadet ut scopulum super altis ab astris duram inlidat corticem, qua comminuta facile vescatur cibo. Inducta vafris aquila monitis paruit, simul et magistrae large divisit dapem. Sic tuta quae Naturae fuerat munere, impar duabus occidit tristi nece. On the Flaws of Humans Two knapsacks on us Jupiter has laid, And what each holds is openly displayed. Full of our faults, the first hangs down our back. Replete with others’ flaws, the second pack, Suspended on our chest, before us lies, And on this second one we fix our eyes. We thus of our own faults are unaware Yet on the flaws of others ever stare. Fables of Aesop, Book IV, Fable 10 De Vitiis Hominum Peras imposuit Iuppiter nobis duas: propriis repletam vitiis post tergum dedit, alienis ante pectus suspendit gravem. Hac re videre nostra mala non possumus; alii simul delinquunt, censores sumus. The Mountain in Labor A mountain in the pangs of labor Heaved heavily in expectation, And all the lands miles roundabout Were filled with great anticipation. Then after moans and groans galore, A tiny mouse the mountain bore. Some seem to work with much ado. Yet there’s no there there when they’re through. Fables of Aesop, Book IV, Fable 24 Mons Parturiens Mons parturibat, gemitus immanes ciens, eratque in terris maxima expectatio. At ille murem peperit. Hoc scriptum est tibi, qui, magna cum minaris, extricas nihil. Terry L. Norton is professor emeritus of literacy, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina, and is the author of Cherokee Myths and Legends. His poems have appeared in Ekphrastic Review, The Society of Classical Poets, and Kakalak Review. He is a long-time student of French, Spanish, and Latin.