Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
69. THE SHEPHERD AND THE LION
Perry 563 (Ademar
While he was wandering in the fields, a lion got a thorn stuck in his
paw. He immediately went to a shepherd, wagging his tail as he said, 'Don't
be afraid! I have come to ask your help; I'm not looking for food.' The
lion then lifted his paw and placed it in the man's lap. The shepherd
pulled out the thorn from the lion's paw and the lion went back into the
woods. Later on, the shepherd was falsely accused of a crime and at the
next public games he was released from jail and thrown to the beasts.
As the wild animals rushed upon him from all sides, the lion recognized
that this was the same man who had healed him. Once again the lion raised
his paw and placed it in the shepherd's lap. When the king understood
what had happened, he commanded that the lion be spared and that the gentle
shepherd be sent back home to his family.
When a man acts righteously, he can never be defeated by the punishments
inflicted on him by his enemies.
Note: The most famous version of this story is found in Aulus
Gellius, Attic Nights 5.14, where the shepherd is named 'Androcles'
(Latin 'Androclus'). This is the only Aesopic fable that ever gave rise
to a full-length Hollywood film: Androcles and The Lion, made in 1952
(based on a play of the same name by George Bernard Shaw).
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.