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The Panther and the Shepherds

from Aesop's Fables





A PANTHER, by some mischance, fell into a pit. The Shepherds
discovered him, and some threw sticks at him and pelted him with
stones, while others, moved with compassion towards one about to
die even though no one should hurt him, threw in some food to
prolong his life. At night they returned home, not dreaming of
any danger, but supposing that on the morrow they would find him
dead. The Panther, however, when he had recruited his feeble
strength, freed himself with a sudden bound from the pit, and
hastened to his den with rapid steps. After a few days he came
forth and slaughtered the cattle, and, killing the Shepherds who
had attacked him, raged with angry fury. Then they who had
spared his life, fearing for their safety, surrendered to him
their flocks and begged only for their lives. To them the
Panther made this reply: "I remember alike those who sought my
life with stones, and those who gave me food
aside, therefore, your fears. I return as an enemy only to those
who injured me."





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