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Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)

130. A WOLF AND A LION (Perry 15)

As a Wolf and a Lion were abroad upon Adventure together, Hark (says the Wolf) don’t you hear the Bleating of Sheep? My Life for yours, Sir, I’ll go fetch ye Purchase. Away he goes, and follows his Ear, till he came just under the Sheepfold; but it was so well fortify’d, and the Dogs asleep so near it, that back he comes sneaking to the Lion again, and tells him, There are Sheep yonder (says he) ‘tis true, but they are lean as Carrion, and we had e’en as good let ‘em alone till they have more Flesh on their Backs.
THE MORAL OF THE TWO FABLES ABOVE. ‘Tis Matter of Skill and Address, when a Man cannot honestly compass what he would be at, to appear easy and indifferent upon all Repulses and Disappointments.

L'Estrange originally published his version of the fables in 1692. There is a very nice illustrated edition in the Children's Classics series by Knopf: Sir Roger L'Estrange. Aesop - Fables which is available at amazon.com.