Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
76. THE PANTHER AND THE PEOPLE
Perry 494 (Phaedrus
People who have been treated with contempt repay the deed in kind.
A panther foolishly happened to have fallen into a pit. The local villagers
saw her there and some of them attacked her with sticks or pelted her
with stones. There were others who felt sorry for the creature since she
seemed sure to die even though she had not done any harm, so they brought
her bread to keep up her strength. Night fell and everyone went home,
confident that they would find the panther dead when the next day dawned.
However, as soon as she recovered from her weakness and regained her strength,
the panther escaped from the pit with a mighty leap and hurried quickly
home to her den. A few days later she descended upon the village, slaughtering
the sheep and even killing the shepherds as she laid waste to everything
around her in a furious attack of rage. At this point even the people
who had shown mercy to the beast began to fear what lay in store for them.
Without a word about the damage that the panther had wrought, they begged
her just to spare their lives. The panther then said, 'I am well aware
of who pelted me with stones and who gave me bread, so put aside your
fears. I have returned as an enemy only to those who wanted to hurt me.'
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.