<< Home Page | Oxford (Gibbs) Index

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

Perry 187 (Romulus 3.2)

Those who are ignorant of their craft will give themselves away, as the following fable shows.
A mighty lion saw a horse grazing in a field. In order to sneakily deceive the horse, the lion approached him in a friendly fashion and said he was a doctor. The horse suspected a trick, but he did not reject the lion's claims. When the lion drew closer, the horse quickly thought up an escape. He pretended that he had a splinter in his hoof, so he lifted up his foot and said, 'Help me, brother; I am so glad you are here! Save me from the splinter that I have stepped on.' The lion approached with feigned deference, concealing his true intentions, whereupon the horse suddenly kicked the lion in the face. Down fell the deadly foe! The lion lay there on the ground for quite a while and when he came to, he saw that the horse was gone and he realized that his head and face and whole body had been wounded. 'It serves me right for approaching the horse in a gentle and friendly way,' said the lion. 'I came to him in the guise of a doctor but I should have approached him like an enemy, as I always did before!'
Let the audience pay close attention: be yourself and don't pretend to be someone you're not.

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.