The Ass, the Cock, and the Lion

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L'Estrange's translation (1692)[edit]


As a Cock and an Ass were Feeding together, up comes a Lion Open-mouth'd toward the Ass: The Cock presently cries out; away Scours the Lion, and the Ass after him: Now 'twas the Crowing of the Cock that Frighted the Lion, not the Braying of the Ass, as that Stupid Animal vainly Fancy'd to himself; for so soon as ever they were gotten out of the Hearing of the Cock, the Lion turn'd short upon him, and tore him to pieces, with these Words in his Mouth: Let never any Creature hereafter that has not the Courage of a Hare, provoke a Lion.

THE MORAL. The Force of Unaccountable Aversions, is Insuperable. The Fool that is Wise and Brave only in his Own Conceit, runs on without Fear or Wit; but Noise does no Bus'ness.

Townsend's translation (1887)[edit]

The Ass, the Cock, and the Lion

An Ass and a Cock were in a straw-yard together when a Lion, desperate from hunger, approached the spot. He was about to spring upon the Ass, when the Cock (to the sound of whose voice the Lion, it is said, has a singular aversion) crowed loudly, and the Lion fled away as fast as he could. The Ass, observing his trepidation at the mere crowing of a Cock summoned courage to attack him, and galloped after him for that purpose. He had run no long distance, when the Lion, turning about, seized him and tore him to pieces.

False confidence often leads into danger.