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The Lion, Jupiter, and the Elephant

from Aesop's Fables





THE LION wearied Jupiter with his frequent complaints. "It is
true, O Jupiter!" he said, "that I am gigantic in strength,
handsome in shape, and powerful in attack. I have jaws well
provided with teeth, and feet furnished with claws, and I lord it
over all the beasts of the forest, and what a disgrace it is,
that being such as I am, I should be frightened by the crowing of
a cock." Jupiter replied, "Why do you blame me without a cause? I
have given you all the attributes which I possess myself, and
your courage never fails you except in this one instance." On
hearing this the Lion groaned and lamented very much and,
reproaching himself with his cowardice, wished that he might die.
As these thoughts passed through his mind, he met an Elephant and
came close to hold a conversation with him. After a time he
observed that the Elephant shook his ears very often, and he
inquired what was the matter and why his ears moved with such a
tremor every now and then. Just at that moment a Gnat settled on
the head of the Elephant, and he replied, "Do you see that little
buzzing insect? If it enters my ear, my fate is sealed. I should
die presently." The Lion said, "Well, since so huge a beast is
afraid of a tiny gnat, I will no more complain, nor wish myself
dead. I find myself, even as I am, better off than the
Elephant."





Next: The Lamb and the Wolf

Previous: The Hares and the Frogs



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