THE ASS IN THE LION’S SKIN
An Ass found a Lion’s Skin, and dressed himself up in it. Then he went about frightening every one he met, for they all took him to be a lion, men and beasts alike, and took to their heels when they saw him coming. Elated by the success of his trick, he loudly brayed in triumph. The Fox heard him, and recognised him at once for the Ass he was, and said to him, “Oho, my friend, it’s you, is it? I, too, should have been afraid if I hadn’t heard your voice.”
THE SHE-GOATS AND THEIR BEARDS
Jupiter granted beards to the She-Goats at their own request, much to the disgust of the he-Goats, who considered this to be an unwarrantable invasion of their rights and dignities. So they sent a deputation to him to protest against his action. He, however, advised them not to raise any objections. “What’s in a tuft of hair?” said he. “Let them have it if they want it. They can never be a match for you in strength.”
THE OLD LION
A Lion, enfeebled by age and no longer able to procure food for himself by force, determined to do so by cunning. Betaking himself to a cave, he lay down inside and feigned to be sick: and whenever any of the other animals entered to inquire after his health, he sprang upon them and devoured them. Many lost their lives in this way, till one day a Fox called at the cave, and, having a suspicion of the truth, addressed the Lion from outside instead of going in, and asked him how he did. He replied that he was in a very bad way: “But,” said he, “why do you stand outside? Pray come in.” “I should have done so,” answered the Fox, “if I hadn’t noticed that all the footprints point towards the cave and none the other way.”
THE BOY BATHING
A Boy was bathing in a river and got out of his depth, and was in great danger of being drowned. A man who was passing along a road heard his cries for help, and went to the riverside and began to scold him for being so careless as to get into deep water, but made no attempt to help him. “Oh, sir,” cried the Boy, “please help me first and scold me afterwards.”
Give assistance, not advice, in a crisis.
THE QUACK FROG
Once upon a time a Frog came forth from his home in the marshes and proclaimed to all the world that he was a learned physician, skilled in drugs and able to cure all diseases. Among the crowd was a Fox, who called out, “You a doctor! Why, how can you set up to heal others when you cannot even cure your own lame legs and blotched and wrinkled skin?”
Physician, heal thyself.