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

Perry 151 (Phaedrus 1.11)

By boasting about his prowess, the coward is able to fool strangers but he remains a laughing-stock to all who know him.
A lion chose a donkey as his hunting companion and hid him in the bushes, ordering the donkey to frighten the wild animals with his unfamiliar voice while the lion ambushed the fleeing animals. Following the lion's instructions, our long-eared friend immediately began to bray with all his might. The animals were startled by this strange and amazing sound and they ran in terror toward their familiar hiding places, thus falling victim to the lion's violent attack. When the lion was exhausted by the slaughter, he summoned the donkey and told him to be quiet. The insolent creature then said to the lion, 'And what did you think of my vocalizing efforts?' 'Truly remarkable,' said the lion. 'In fact, if I didn't know already that you were a donkey born and bred, I also would have fled in fear.'

Note: For a similar dialogue between the fox and the donkey, see Fable 22.

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.