Aesop's Fables: Townsend (1867)
173. The Bowman and Lion (Perry 340)
A VERY SKILLFUL BOWMAN went to the mountains in search of game, but all
the beasts of the forest fled at his approach. The Lion alone challenged
him to combat. The Bowman immediately shot out an arrow and said to the
Lion: 'I send thee my messenger, that from him thou mayest learn what
I myself shall be when I assail thee.' The wounded Lion rushed away in
great fear, and when a Fox who had seen it all happen told him to be of
good courage and not to back off at the first attack he replied: 'You
counsel me in vain; for if he sends so fearful a messenger, how shall
I abide the attack of the man himself?'
Be on guard against men who can strike from a distance.
George Fyler Townsend's translation of the fables, first published in 1867, is
in the public domain and can be found at many websites, including Project
Illustrations come from: Aesop's Fables, by George Fyler Townsend, with
illustrations by Harrison Weir, 1867, at Google