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.

Tree and the Reed, The

"WELL, little one,” said a Tree to a Reed that was growing at its foot, “why do you not plant your feet deeply in the ground, and raise your head boldly in the air as I do?”

“I am contented with my lot,” said the Reed. “I may not be so grand, but I think I am safer.”

“Safe!” sneered the Tree. “Who shall pluck me up by the roots or bow my head to the ground?” But it soon had to repent of its boasting, for a hurricane arose which tore it up from its roots, and cast it a useless log on the ground, while the little Reed, bending to the force of the wind, soon stood upright again when the storm had passed over.

Obscurity often brings safety.


(Ro. iv. 20).

Not from Phædrus, nor in the original Romulus, but inserted by Stainhöwel at the end of his selections from "Romulus" to make up the number twenty of the fourth book. Probably from Avian 16, though it also occurs in the prose Æsop, Ed. Halm, 179 (which is ultimately derived from Babrius 36). It is probably Indian, as in Mahabharata the Sea complains that the Rivers bring down to it oaks, but not reeds. It occurs also in the Talmud, Tanith 20. B. Cf. the line in the dirge in Cymbeline, "To thee the reed is as the oak." Wordsworth's poem: The Oak and the Broom develops the subject at great length.

SurLaLune Note

Perry 70

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Tree and the Reed, 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: ATU 298C*: The Reeds Bend before Wind (Flood)

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