This fable represents human psychology. Numbered 133 in the Perry Index (as 133. The Dog with the Meat and his Shadow), this popular Aesop's fable is also known as 'The Dog and Its Reflection'. A similar fable is found in the Indian counterparts, Panchatantra and Jataka Tales, where the dog is replaced by a fox, with minor differences in the storyline.

One day, a hungry dog was loitering around in search of food.
The Dog and the Shadow
Suddenly, he came across a piece of meat. Knowing too well, that other dogs or animals will not let him enjoy his prized meal that he had chanced upon, he decided to take the meat someplace safe.
"Where would be the safest place that I can run to, without drawing any attention?", he wondered.
He decided to carry the meat in his mouth to the river, where he could relish it in peace - because not many animals wander about the deserted riverside.
And so he did. He ran to the riverside before someone could take notice of his prized meal.
The Dog and the Shadow
Here, the still water of the limpid stream appeared like a clear mirror.
As the dog was walking by the river, he observed his reflection on the mirror-like water of the river, and mistook it as another dog in the water.
Without realizing that it was his own reflection, he stopped to take a look. The other dog had a piece of meat in his mouth too, that appeared to be much bigger than his.
"His piece of meat looks bigger than mine", he thought.
All the time, that the dog was staring at his own shadow, the other dog was staring at him, too - flaunting a bigger piece of meat in his mouth. It was as if, the other dog was teasing him with the bigger piece of meat that he had got to eat.
He would have known better, if he had stopped to think. But this greedy dog became envious of the other dog, of having a bigger piece of meat, and desired to have it himself. He couldn't think of anything else, other than getting the meat of the other dog.
"I will get myself that piece of meat from him, even if I have to fight for it!", he thought to himself, "After all the running, I have got hungrier, and therefore, I deserve it more than him".
The dog snarled at his reflection, and obviously, the other dog snarled back!

The Dog and the Shadow
That was it! He was instantly prepared for a fight to settle the matter.
He made a snap at the other dog, and barked at his own reflection.
But, as soon as he had opened his mouth to bark, the meat that he was holding in his mouth fell off - and dropped into the river. And, due to the splash on the water when the meat fell on it, his reflection disappeared, too. The piece of meat sunk below, as it got washed away.
With the sudden and unforseen loss of his own piece of meat, the dog returned back to his senses.
He realized what a fool he had been, and due to greed, how foolishly he had lost his prized meal.
If you covet all, you may lose all.
Be content with what one has, and do not relinquish substance for shadow.
A dog with meat in his mouth, came across his own reflection on water. He wanted the meat on the other dog's mouth, without realizing it was his own shadow. As he opened his mouth to grab the other dog's meat, his own piece of meat fell from his mouth into the water and got washed away - beyond his reach.
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