Viator et Mercurius

Viator, longum iter ingressus, 
Mercurio promittit,
"Si quid invenio, O Mercuri, 
tibi dimidium dabo!
Sic solemniter voveo."
Paulo post peram magnam invenit.
Laetus, peram capit, clamans,
"Si in pera nummi sunt, Deo dimidium dabo,
secundum votum meum solemne."
Sed in pera nummos non invenit.
Pera autem referta est amygdalis et dactylis.
Viator amygdalas comedit, cortices colligens,
et dactylos quoque, nucleos colligens.
"Habes, O Mercuri, dimidium,"
viator dicit, 
cortices et nucleos collocans in ara
quae ibi forte adest.
"Tibi offero et interiora et exteriora,
quod est dimidium, 
secundum votum meum solemne."
Fabula avarum respicit, 
qui avaritiae suae causa Deos quoque decipit.



Inspired by: Mille Fabulae et Una.
Notes: This story is Fable 788. Mercurius et Viator (Perry 178). I have simplified the story, making it easier to read. For an English version (not a translation), see: Hermes and the Traveler.



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