The Lion, Jupiter, and the Elephant





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."





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