The Panther and Shepherd

The Fables of Phædrus
Repayment in kind is generally made by those who are despised.
A Panther had once inadvertently fallen into a pit. The rustics saw her; some belaboured her with sticks, others pelted her with stones; while some, on the other hand, moved with compassion, seeing that she must die even though no one should hurt her, threw her some bread to sustain existence. Night comes on apace; homeward they go without concern, making sure of finding her dead on the following day. She, however, after having recruited her failing strength, with a swift bound effected her escape from the pit, and with hurried pace hastened to her den. A few days intervening, she sallies forth, slaughters the flocks, kills the shepherds themselves, and laying waste every side, rages with unbridled fury. Upon this those who had shown mercy to the beast, alarmed for their safety, made no demur to the loss of their flocks, and begged only for their lives. But she thus answered them: “I remember him who attacked me with stones, and him who gave me bread; lay aside your fears; I return as an enemy to those only who injured me.”

Leave a Reply 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *