Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
191. THE LEOPARD AND THE FOX
Perry 12 (Avianus
The leopard, renowned for his spots and the fine fur of his chest, went
out into the fields together with the other animals. As the coats of the
mighty lions were all one colour, the leopard quickly concluded that the
lions must be a wretched species indeed. Scorning the rest of the animals
for their slovenly appearance, the leopard considered himself to be the
only true example of nobility among them. As the leopard was rejoicing
in the novelty of his apparel, the sly fox criticized him sharply and
showed how useless his markings were. 'Go ahead and put your faith in
the excessive embellishment of your youth,' said the fox, 'so long as
my intelligence is more attractive than yours: after all, mental endowments
are more impressive than the glamour of good looks!'
Note: There is a version of this story in Plutarch, Passions of the
Soul 1, and likewise in The Banquet of the Seven Sages 12.
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.