<< Home Page | Oxford (Gibbs) Index

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

Perry 394 (Aphthonius 20)

A story about a fox, exhorting us not to aim too high.
The fox lived together with a lion and acted as his servant. She would point out their quarry, while the lion would carry out the actual attack. Whatever the lion was able to catch was then divided between the two of them accordingly. The fox, however, was jealous because the lion got more to eat than she did, so she decided to go hunting on her own instead of just pointing out their quarry to the lion. But when the fox went to seize something from the flock, she was captured and killed by some hunters.
It is better to serve in safety than to rule in peril.

Note: This opposition between the fox and the lion was proverbial (e.g., Aristophanes, Peace 1189: 'lions at home and foxes in battle').

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.