Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
547. THE COWARD AND THE LION OF GOLD
Perry 71 (Chambry
There was a certain greedy coward who found a lion of gold and said,
'I do not know how to act in such circumstances. This is driving me crazy!
I can't decide what to do: my love of money and my innate cowardice are
tearing me in two. What kind of accident or supernatural power could have
produced a lion of gold? My mind is at war with itself when it confronts
this problem: it longs for the gold but it fears the object which the
gold has been made into. My desire urges me to seize it, but my character
urges me to keep away. O fortune, you have given me this thing but you
do not allow it to be taken! O treasure that offers no satisfaction! O
welcome gift of a god that is so unwelcome! What to do? How can I get
some advantage from this? How can I contrive a means to approach it? I
will go get my servants and bring them here and order them to launch a
mass attack and grab the lion, while I watch them from a distance.'
The story is suitable for a rich man who does not dare to touch his
wealth or make use of it.
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.