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

Perry 12 (Avianus 40)

The leopard, renowned for his spots and the fine fur of his chest, went out into the fields together with the other animals. As the coats of the mighty lions were all one colour, the leopard quickly concluded that the lions must be a wretched species indeed. Scorning the rest of the animals for their slovenly appearance, the leopard considered himself to be the only true example of nobility among them. As the leopard was rejoicing in the novelty of his apparel, the sly fox criticized him sharply and showed how useless his markings were. 'Go ahead and put your faith in the excessive embellishment of your youth,' said the fox, 'so long as my intelligence is more attractive than yours: after all, mental endowments are more impressive than the glamour of good looks!'

Note: There is a version of this story in Plutarch, Passions of the Soul 1, and likewise in The Banquet of the Seven Sages 12.

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.