There was a Lion who had disturbed Jupiter with
his frequent complaints.
"It is true, O Jupiter!" he said, "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 shame 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 hearing this the Lion groaned and lamented
very much and, reproaching himself with his
cowardice, wished that he might die.
As these thoughts passed through his mind, he
met an Elephant and came close 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."