Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
246. THE LION AND THE ARCHER
Perry 340 (Babrius
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.
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.