Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
62. THE LION AND THE BEAR
Perry 147 (Chambry
A lion and a bear had found a fawn and were fighting to see who would
keep it. In the protracted violence of the battle, they had both grown
faint from fighting so they called a truce in order to rest. Meanwhile,
there was a fox who had been pacing around them in circles. When she saw
that they had fallen to the ground with the fawn lying between them, she
dashed up, grabbed the fawn and took off at a run. The lion and the bear
were not even able to get to their feet, so they sat there watching the
fox disappear. 'What fools we are,' they said, 'for having gone to so
much trouble on that fox's behalf!'
The fable shows that while some people do all the work, others make
off with the profit.
Note: L'Estrange's epimythium associates
this fable the land of Gotham, the traditional abode of fools: ' 'Tis
the Fate of all Gotham Quarrels, when Fools go together by the Ears,
to have Knaves run away with the Stakes.'
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.