Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Aesopus Simplicissimus: Cornix et Urna

The Tar Heel Reader project has inspired me to start writing some fables I'm labeling Aesopus Simplicissimus. I'll be publishing those fables here - sometimes with an accompanying reader at Tar Heel, and sometimes just the text on its own. You can read more about this "Simplicissimus" project in this earlier post, and see all the "Simplicissimus" fables here.

For today, the fable is Cornix et Urna, the story of the thirsty crow. You can find materials and resources for this fable at the Aesopus Wiki - including Tar Heel Reader versions:

Ecce cornix! Cornix sitibúnda est et bíbere vult. Ecce urna! Cornix urnam ínvenit. In urnae fundo est aqua. Sed urna alta est, et aqua brevis. Quod urna alta est, et aqua brevis, Cornix bíbere non potest.

Cornix cógitat: "Víribus meis, urnam evértam!" Cornix alis vérberat et fórtiter ad urnam ádvolat. Sed urna fírmiter stat et non movétur.

Cornix íterum cógitat: "In urna est aqua, et bíbere volo. Sed urna fírmiter stat, et evértere non possum. Quid ergo fáciam?"

Cornix diu cógitat, deinde clamat: "Euréka! Consílium hábeo! Prope urnam cálculi sunt. Cálculos legam et in urnam mittam! Sic aquam levabo et bibere potero!"

Ergo: Cornix rostro cálculos legit. Cálculos in urnam mittit et sic aquam levat. Hoc modo ingenióso Cornix felíciter bibit. Fábula docet: Ingénium plus valet quam vires.

Here's an illustration for the fable (image source):

Aesop's Fables in Latin now available at Amazon.com.

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