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Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)

Perry 340 (Babrius 1)

A man who was an experienced shot with the bow and arrow went up on the mountain to hunt. All the animals fled from him in fear, except for the lion, who challenged the man to a battle. 'Wait!' the man said to the lion. 'Do not be so quick to think you can defeat me. First you need to get to know my messenger, and then you'll be able to choose the best course for you to follow.' Standing at some distance from the lion, the archer let loose an arrow and the barb buried itself in the soft flesh of the lion's belly. The lion was terrified and fled into the deserted forest glades. A fox standing nearby urged the lion to be brave and stand his ground, but the lion replied, 'You are not going to fool me or catch me in your trap: when he sends me such a pointed messenger as this, I already know what a fearful person he himself must be.'

Note: Another version of this story (Avianus 17) is about a tiger, rather than a lion.

Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
NOTE: New cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.