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

Perry 564 (Ademar 36)

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 own reputation.

Note: For a similar story with a quite different conclusion, see Fable 243 (following).

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.