The Gnat and the Lion





A GNAT came and said to a Lion, "I do not in the least fear you,

nor are you stronger than I am. For in what does your strength

consist? You can scratch with your claws and bite with your teeth

an a woman in her quarrels. I repeat that I am altogether more

powerful than you; and if you doubt it, let us fight and see who

will conquer." The Gnat, having sounded his horn, fastened

himself upon the Lion and stung him on the nostrils and the parts

of the face devoid of hair. While trying to crush him, the Lion

tore himself with his claws, until he punished himself severely.

The Gnat thus prevailed over the Lion, and, buzzing about in a

song of triumph, flew away. But shortly afterwards he became

entangled in the meshes of a cobweb and was eaten by a spider.

He greatly lamented his fate, saying, "Woe is me! that I, who can

wage war successfully with the hugest beasts, should perish

myself from this spider, the most inconsiderable of insects!"





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