Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)
5. A LION AND A BEAR (Perry 147)
There was a Lion and a Bear had gotten a Fawn betwixt them, and there
were they at Tooth and Nail which of the two should carry it off. They
fought it out, till they were e’en glad to lie down and take a breath.
In which Instant, a Fox passing that way, and finding how the Case stood
with the two Combatants, seized upon the Fawn for his own use, and so
fairly scamper’d away with him. The Lion and the Bear saw the whole Action,
but not being in condition to rise and hinder it, they pass’d this Reflection
upon the whole matter; Here we have been worrying one another who should
have the Booty, ’till this cursed Fox has bobb’d us both on’t.
THE MORAL OF THE TWO FABLES ABOVE. ‘Tis the Fate of all Gotham Quarrels,
when Fools go together by the Ears, to have Knaves run away with the Stakes.
L'Estrange originally published his version of the fables in 1692. There is a
very nice illustrated edition in the Children's Classics series by Knopf: Sir
Roger L'Estrange. Aesop
- Fables which is available at amazon.com.