Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
242. THE GNAT AND THE BULL
Perry 564 (Ademar
When a gnat had challenged a bull to see who was the stronger of the
two, all the people came to watch the show. Then the little gnat said
to the bull, 'It's enough for me that you have accepted my challenge.
This makes me your equal: you yourself have admitted as much!' The gnat
then rose into the air on his light wings and sported for the crowd, ignoring
the threats of the bull. If the bull had been mindful of his own mighty
bulk, he would have dismissed this opponent as beneath contempt and the
impertinent creature would not have had anything to boast about.
People who enter into contests with unworthy opponents lower their
Note: For a similar story with a quite different conclusion, see Fable
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.