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

Perry 563 (Ademar 35)

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).

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.