THE LAMB CHASED BY A WOLF
A Wolf was chasing a Lamb, which took refuge in a temple. The Wolf urged it to come out of the precincts, and said, “If you don’t, the priest is sure to catch you and offer you up in sacrifice on the altar.” To which the Lamb replied, “Thanks, I think I’ll stay where I am: I’d rather be sacrificed any day than be eaten up by a Wolf.”
THE ARCHER AND THE LION
An Archer went up into the hills to get some sport with his bow, and all the animals fled at the sight of him with the exception of the Lion, who stayed behind and challenged him to fight. But he shot an arrow at the Lion and hit him, and said, “There, you see what my messenger can do: just you wait a moment and I’ll tackle you myself.” The Lion, however, when he felt the sting of the arrow, ran away as fast as his legs could carry him. A fox, who had seen it all happen, said to the Lion, “Come, don’t be a coward: why don’t you stay and show fight?” But the Lion replied, “You won’t get me to stay, not you: why, when he sends a messenger like that before him, he must himself be a terrible fellow to deal with.”
Give a wide berth to those who can do damage at a distance.
THE WOLF AND THE GOAT
A Wolf caught sight of a Goat browsing above him on the scanty herbage that grew on the top of a steep rock; and being unable to get at her, tried to induce her to come lower down. “You are risking your life up there, madam, indeed you are,” he called out: “pray take my advice and come down here, where you will find plenty of better food.” The Goat turned a knowing eye upon him. “It’s little you care whether I get good grass or bad,” said she: “what you want is to eat me.”
THE SICK STAG
A Stag fell sick and lay in a clearing in the forest, too weak to move from the spot. When the news of his illness spread, a number of the other beasts came to inquire after his health, and they one and all nibbled a little of the grass that grew round the invalid till at last there was not a blade within his reach. In a few days he began to mend, but was still too feeble to get up and go in search of fodder; and thus he perished miserably of hunger owing to the thoughtlessness of his friends.
THE ASS AND THE MULE
A certain man who had an Ass and a Mule loaded them both up one day and set out upon a journey. So long as the road was fairly level, the Ass got on very well: but by and by they came to a place among the hills where the road was very rough and steep, and the Ass was at his last gasp. So he begged the Mule to relieve him of a part of his load: but the Mule refused. At last, from sheer weariness, the Ass stumbled and fell down a steep place and was