Aesop's Fables

by Aesop
Start Free Trial

"It Is Not Only Fine Feathers That Make Fine Birds"

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on May 25, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 134

Context: The latest scholarship reveals that most of the misconceptions concerning Aesop come to us from a manuscript only recently translated into English from the first century Latin. Likewise, the morals tacked on to the tales ascribed to him are misconceptions or accretions which served to educate the young. It is, therefore, almost impossible to separate now the original story from the many re-interpretations, especially such a familiar one as that of the jay finding the beautiful peacock feathers which he attached to his own tail. The peacock recognized the moulted feathers and pecked them off, so the jay in embarrassment flew back home. The other jays, who were equally angry with him for going under false colors or with borrowed plummage, told him,

"It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds."

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

"Familiarity Breeds Contempt"


"Little By Little Does The Trick"