Posted by: ayac | September 22, 2014

Aesop’s Fables 3: The Coyotes

Based on The Fox without a Tail (Perry 17). The preceding fable, The Cat and the Cock (Perry 16), was apparently skipped over by the translators.

The Nahuatl seems to be pretty close to the Latin. Nocnihua[n] nopilhuan “my friends, my children” seems to be an addition, but nonanton “my little mother” is a literal translation of mea matercula. (I may do a more thorough comparison later.)

This fable is part of the reason that I think the Nahuatl Aesop is based Camerarius’s Latin version. Among other things, the title of the fable in other versions is Vulpes sine cauda “The Fox without a Tail”, but Camerarius has Vulpeculae “The (Little) Foxes”. But then I haven’t got access to a thorough survey of Latin versions of Aesop, so maybe Camerarius isn’t unique.

Nahuatl text:

¶ Cocoyo.

CEntetl coyotl motzohuica, ayaxcan ynmaquiz: tzohuaz / co quicauhtiquiz ynicuitlapil . auh yniquac yepinahuiztla / mati ynipampa aocmotle ycuitlapil , yiemotequipachohua: oqui / cemtlali mochintin yncocoyo : niman yequin nonotza quincui / tlahuiltia ynicmochintin mocuitlapil cotonazque ( caçan yn / ca moqualtiliznequia ) oquimilhui Nocnihua nopilhuan / tlaxiccaquica ; tlehçannen intichuillana tocuitlapil, cahmo / tleyc monequi, caçan yctitlalochpantinemi; yehica totech / monequi yntimochintin tictequizque ticcotonazque, auh / yniquac ye miectlamantli quihtohua, niman Centetl ocych / pochtontli incoyotl tetlanhualquiz quinanquili, quilhui y / tleinti quitohua nonanton. cuixtictecui tlahuil tizquiay. in / tlacamo çan yetoca timoqualtiliznequi.

yniçaçanillahtolli yctimachtilo, ynic ahmoticcuizque ticcaquiz / que ynaqui hamo qualli techcuitlahuiltia; çayehuatl tiqui / ttazque yntlein huel totechmonequi.

Preliminary English translation:

The Coyotes

A certain coyote had been snared, and she did not escape easily: in the snare she left behind her tail. And after feeling ashamed because she no longer had a tail, after being unhappy, she gathered together all the coyotes and advised them, urging them all to cut off their tails. (She just wanted to use them for her own benefit.) She said to them, “My friends, my children, please listen. What is the point of us dragging our tails? They are useless. We just sweep the ground with them as we walk. So we should all cut them off and remove them.” And after she had said many things, a young coyote girl came out from among them and responded to her, saying, “Hey, what are you saying, my little mother? Would you have urged people to do this if you didn’t just want to use us for your own benefit?”

Through this fable we are taught not to receive or listen to whoever urges us to do something bad, only what we see we really need to do.


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