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The Lion And The Goat

from Boys And Girls Bookshelf - FABLES FROM INDIA





A Lion was eating up one after another the animals of a certain country.
One day an old Goat said, "We must put a stop to this. I have a plan by
which he may be sent away from this part of the country."

"Pray act up to it at once," said the other animals.

The old Goat laid himself down in a cave on the roadside, with his
flowing beard and long curved horns. The Lion on his way to the village
saw him, and stopped at the mouth of the cave.

"So you have come, after all," said the Goat.

"What do you mean?" said the Lion.

"Why, I have long been lying in this cave. I have eaten up one hundred
Elephants, a hundred Tigers, a thousand Wolves, and ninety-nine Lions.
One more Lion has been wanting. I have waited long and patiently. Heaven
has, after all, been kind to me," said the Goat, and shook his horns and
his beard, and made a start as if he were about to spring upon the Lion.

The latter said to himself, "This animal looks like a Goat, but it does
not talk like one. So it is very likely some wicked spirit in this
shape. Prudence often serves us better than valor, so for the present I
shall return to the wood," and he turned back.

The Goat rose up, and, advancing to the mouth of the cave, said, "Will
you come back to-morrow?"

"Never again," said the Lion.

"Do you think I shall be able to see you, at least, in the wood
to-morrow?"

"Neither in the wood, nor in this neighborhood any more," said the Lion,
and running to the forest, soon left it with his kindred.

The animals in the country, not hearing him roar any more, gathered
round the Goat, and said, "The wisdom of one doth save a host."





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