Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
187. THE LION AND THE MAN DISPUTING
Perry 284 (Ademar
A man and a lion were arguing about who was best, with each one seeking
evidence in support of his claim. They came to a tombstone on which a
man was shown in the act of strangling a lion, and the man offered this
picture as evidence. The lion then replied, 'It was a man who painted
this; if a lion had painted it, you would instead see a lion strangling
a man. But let's look at some real evidence instead.' The lion then brought
the man to the amphitheatre and showed him so he could see with his own
eyes just how a lion strangles a man. The lion then concluded, 'A pretty
picture is not proof: facts are the only real evidence!'
When the evidence is fairly weighed, a colourfully painted lie is quickly
refuted by the facts.
Note: The visit to the amphitheatre which is included here in Ademar
is not found in the Greek versions of the fables. Caxton
(4.15) has the lion prove his point even more directly: 'The lyon
thenne ledde the man to a grete pytte / And there they fought to gyder
/ But the lyon caste the man in to the pytte / and submytted hym in
to his subiection and sayd / Thow man / now knowest thow alle the trouthe
/ whiche of vs bothe is stronger.'
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.