Kriloff’s Original Fables
A Lion to an Elephant once lent A gracious ear. At once through all the forest went
The rumour oft, and, as oft haps, the guesses ; How into favour could he wriggle thus ? Not handsome he, nor have his tricks yet made a fuss ; What airs, and what a mien in his addresses
Thus argued all the beasts with one another. ” If he a bushy tail had,” said the fox, Wagging his own, ” but such a whip, it shocks.”
1 Or if it were his claws,” the bear said to his brother,
“That made of him the Lion’s ordinary ; No one would think it so extraordinary,
But he no claws hath got, as we all know.”
“His luck unto his tusks he well may owe,”
Put in the wolf, clenching his grinders ; ” Perhaps of horns they are reminders !
” Ye all go wide,” began the ass to show,
While flapped his ears ; ” what pleased in him is
Through it alone he rank could gain
Have ye not guessed it yet ? ‘Twas his long ears that did the Lion’s favour get.”
How often we, although we don’t observe it, Praise others but to show that we deserve it.
[The idea of this fable is variously expressed in a number
of Russian proverbs ; for instance, ” Every fox praises his own tail.”]
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