The Elephant and the Pug – Jataka Tales

Kriloff’s Original Fables
An Elephant was led along the streets To join a wild-beast show,
And, as such sights with us one rarely meets,
Following a mob of gaping idlers go. By chance a Pug-dog met them on the way.
Seeing the Elephant, he round it ran, To bark and howl and jump at it began,
As if to fight in mortal fray. ” Upstart ! ” a poodle to him cried, ” Cease, cease, for shame ! Art thou a match for him ?
See, thou art hoarse already with thy whim,
While he doth step on free from care,
All unaware That thou art barking by his side.” ” Ah, ah ! ” self-satisfied replied the Pug,
” That is the thought I hug,
That’s why I’m bold;
If once I knew that I must fight, Dost think that I should scold ? ”
Let all the street dogs say : ” That pug is strong ; We can’t be wrong,
He barked behind an elephant to-day !

[The last lines are quoted in the collections of Russian
proverbs, in a shorter form than is given here.]