The Rivers and The Sea

Three Rivers started to accuse the Sea of turning their water salty and unfit. The Sea cut them off saying all they had to do was stop flowing. Hah!

Do not blame others.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

The rivers joined together to complain to the Sea, saying, “Why is it that when we flow into your tides so potable and sweet, you work in us such a change, and make us salty and unfit to drink?” The Sea, perceiving that they intended to throw the blame on him, said, “Pray cease to flow into me, and then you will not be made briny.”

[Note: Some collections turn this rather short fable into a longer story with Aesop himself involved.]

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

Xanthus At The SeaXanthus making merry one day with several students of philosophy, who were his companions, became intoxicated, and while in that state one of them, trying to make fun of him, said, “Xanthus, I have read somewhere that it is possible for a man to drink up the Sea. Do you believe it could be done?” “Yes, easily,” said Xanthus. “I’ll wager you my house and lands, and all that I have, that I can do it myself.” The wager was laid, and to confirm it they exchanged their rings. The next day Xanthus, missing his ring and finding a strange one in its place, asked Aesop for an explanation. “Yesterday,” replied Aesop, “you betted your whole fortune that you would drink up the sea; and to bind the wagcr you exchanged your ring.” Xanthus was overwhelmed with perplexity, and eagerly besought Aesop to tell him what to do. “To perform your wager,” said Aesop, “you know is impossible, but I will show you how to evade it.” They accordingly met the scholar, and went with him and a great number of people to the sea-shore, where Aesop had provided a table with several large glasses upon it, and men stood around with ladles with which to fill them. Xanthus, instructed by Aesop, gravely took his seat at the table. The beholders looked on with astonishment, thinking that he must surely have lost his senses. “My agreement,” said he, turning to the scholar, “is to drink up the Sea. I said nothing of the Rivers and Streams that are everywhere flowing into it. Stop up these, and I will proceed to fulfil my engagement.”

1001Mare et Fluvii

In unum convenerant fluvii, mare ut accusarent quod se, simul atque eius intrassent aquas, dulces quamvis essent et potui apti, falsos et ad bibendum redderet inutiles. Quae mare cum audiisset, aegre ferens innoxium se culpari, “Nolite,” inquit, “aquas intrare postea meas, ne corrumpamini sale.”

Perry #412