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The Lion and the Mouse



A Lion, faint with heat and weary with hunting, was lying down to take his repose under the spreading boughs of a thick shady oak. It happened that while he slept, a company of scrambling mice ran over his back, and waked him; upon which, starting up, he clapped his paw upon one of them, and was just going to put it to death, when the little supplicant implored his mercy in a very moving manner, begging him not to stain his noble character with the blood of so despicable and small a beast.

The Lion, considering the matter, thought proper to do as he was desired, and immediately released his little trembling prisoner.

Not long after, while traversing the forest in pursuit of his prey, he chanced to run into the toils of the hunters, from whence, not being able to disengage himself, he set up a most hideous and loud roar.

The Mouse, hearing a voice, and knowing it to be the Lion's, immediately repaired to the place, and bid him fear nothing, for that he was his friend. Then straight he fell to work, and with his sharp little teeth gnawing asunder the knots and fastenings of the toils, set the royal brute at liberty.


There is none so little, but that even the greatest may at some time or other stand in need of his assistance.

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