Aesop's Fables (1884)
101. The Stag and the Fawn.
A Stag, grown old and mischievous, was, according to custom, stamping with his foot, making offers with his head, and bellowing so terribly that the whole herd quaked for fear of him; when one of the little Fawns, coming up, addressed him thus: "Pray, what is the reason that you, who are so formidable at all other times, if you do but hear the cry of the hounds, are ready to fly out of your skin for fear?" "What you observe is true," replied the Stag, "though I know not how to account for it. I am indeed vigorous and able, and often resolve that nothing shall ever dismay my courage; but, alas! I no sooner hear the voice of a hound but my spirits fail me, and I cannot help making off as fast as my legs can carry me."
The greatest braggarts are the greatest cowards.
Aesop's Fables: A New Revised Version From Original Sources (translator not identified), 1884 . Illustrations by Ernest Henry Griset (1844-1907), John Tenniel (1820-1914) and Harrison Weir (1824-1906). Available online at Project Gutenberg.