This fable represents comedy of manners, and is numbered 10 in the Perry Index (as 10. The Fox and the Lion). Also known as the 'Ass and the Jupiter', this original Aesop's fable was re-written with a donkey. However, it should not be confused with a different fable with a Camel, numbered 195 in the Perry Index, that has the same moral lesson but with different outcome.

One day, a very young fox was strolling with his mother.
The Fox and the Lion
He heard a roar, and spotted a lion. For him, the lion was an unknown beast. This was the first time, that he had seen a lion - the king of beasts. He was terribly frightened at the sight of the lion.
"Run for you life!", he shouted to his mother, and ran as fast as he could - and stopped, only after reaching their den.
Back at their den, his mother watched her son still shuddering in fear. "What are you afraid of?", asked the mother fox, "It was only a lion".
The young fox replied, "Did you not hear, how loud he roared? Did you not see, how big his teeth were?". He could not take his mind off the frightful beast, that he had seen that day.
The Fox and the Lion
The next day, still frightened of his last encounter, he toed behind his mother and kept a watchful eye.
As the lion came, he jumped and hid behind some trees. He watched the lion pass by, and came out of his hiding only after the lion was out of sight.
"Did you not see, how big he is? Did you not see, how ferocious he looks?", asked the young fox.
The mother fox replied, "But, the lion did not harm us. Did he chase you, or even looked at you?". She explained to her son, that there was nothing to be fearful of the lion. But, he was not convinced.
The Fox and the Lion
The next day, when the lion came, he roared to announce himself. But, the young fox did not run away, or hid himself. He sat beside his mother, and watched the lion from a distance.
"Aren't you going to run and hide?", the mother fox asked. But the young fox wasn't afraid of the roar anymore. He replied, "He doesn't look as big and fearful, as he did yesterday".
Even as he was prepared to run, if the lion came near him, he sat at a safe distance and watched the lion pass by.
"His roars are defeaning, but the lion does not seem to be as dangerous as he sounds", observed the young fox, "In fact, there is nothing to be afraid of him, at all".

The Fox and the Lion
The next day, when he saw the lion approaching, the young fox glanced, and continued to play around. As the lion came closer, he roared to announce himself.
Hearing the lion's roar, the young fox ran close to the lion, and shouted, "What are you roaring at, you silly old thing?". The lion was surprised, as the young fox continued, "Can't you see, that nobody here is afraid of you?".
His mother sat watching from a distance. Both the lion and the mother fox were taken aback, astonished on the sudden change of his behaviour.
"That just goes to show", the mother fox said, "when you get used to someone or something, you are no longer afraid of them".
Familiarity breeds contempt, and softens prejudices.
Acquaintance with evil blinds us to its dangers.
When a fox came across a lion for the first time ever, he was frightened by the strange animal with sharp teeth and deafening roars. But as he watched the lion more frequently, on a regular basis, he did not fear the lion anymore. The lion was no longer a strange animal to him. Soon, he mustered the courage to come close to the lion, and even speak to him.
 « Previous   Next » 
Copyright © 2015-2024
All Rights Reserved
Classic Aesopica