Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
14. THE LION, THE COW, THE SHE-GOAT AND THE SHEEP
Perry 339 (Phaedrus
An alliance made with the high and mighty can never be trusted. This
little fable proves my point.
A cow and a she-goat and a long-suffering sheep decided to become the
lion's companions. They went into the forest together and there they caught
an extremely large stag which they divided into four portions. Then the
lion said, 'I claim the first portion by right of my title, since I am
called the king; the second portion you will give me as your partner;
then, because I am strongest, the third portion is mine ... and woe betide
anyone who dares to touch the fourth!' In this way the wicked lion carried
off all the spoils for himself.
Note: Sir Roger L'Estrange appends
this apt proverb: 'He that has the Staff in his Hand will be his own
Carver.' In Greek versions of this fable (e.g., Chambry
207), the alliance is between a lion and an onager. For another
story about the 'lion's share,' see Fable 15 (following).
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.