|277. The Lion, Jupiter, And The Elephant|
The Lion wearied Jupite
r with his frequentcomplaints. "It is true," he said, "O Jupiter! that I am gigantic in strength, handsome in shape, and powerful in attack. I have jaws well provided with teeth and feet furnished with claws, and I
lord it over all the beasts of the forest; and what a disgrace it is, that being such as I am, I should be frightened by the crowing of a cock." Jupiter replied, "Why do you blame me without a cause? I have given you
all the attributes which I possess myself, and your courage never fails you except in this one instance." On this the Lion groaned and lamented very much, and reproached himself with his cowardice, and wished that he might die. As these thoughts passed through his mind, he met an Elephant, and came near to hold a conversation with him. After a time he observed that the Elephant shook his ears very often, and he inquired what was the matter, and why
his ears moved with such a tremor every now and then. Just at that moment a Gnat settled on the head of the Elephant, and he replied, "Do you see that little buzzing insect? If it enters my ear, my fate is sealed. I should die presently." The Lion said, "Well, since so huge a beast is afraid of a tiny gnat, I will no more complain, nor wish myself dead. I find myself, even as I am, better off than the Elephant,
in that very same degree that a Cock is greater than a Gnat."
狮子常常诉苦，使周彼得非常厌烦。 它说：「不错！周彼得，我确实力大无穷，外貌俊美，战斗起来也很有劲。 我有坚固的牙床，配着很好的牙齿，脚趾还有利爪，而且我又统治森林中所有的野兽；可是这是多么大的一种耻辱哪，像我这样还要被公鸡的啼声所惊吓。」 周彼得回答说：「你为什么毫无理由地责备我呢？ 我已经把我自己所有的一切特质给你了，而除了你的胆量这一点以外，也从来没有让你失败过。」 听了这些话，狮子呻吟着，而且哭得很伤心，一再责备自己胆小，恨不得就这样死去。 当这些想法浮上它心头时，它碰到一只大象，就走上前去和它谈话。 过了一会，它看出象时时在晃动它的耳朵，它便问它那是怎么一回事？为什么它的耳朵常常这样战栗地摇动。 就在此时，一只蚊子停在大象的头上，它回答说：「你可以看见那嗡嗡叫的小虫儿吗？ 如果它钻进我的耳朵，我的老命就完了。 我立刻会死呢。」 狮子就说道：「好吧！这么大的一只野兽竟然还怕一只小小的蚊子，那我也不再诉苦了，也不愿自己就这么死啦。 我已发现我自己，即使就像现在这样，也比大象要好得多；在同样程度上，一只公鸡总比一只蚊子大些啊。」