The Panther and the Shepherds

: 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 ha
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."