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Indian Fables by  Ramaswami Raju
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THE LION AND THE GOAT

A LION was eating up one after another the animals of a certain country. One day an old goat said, "We must put a stop to [104] this. I have a plan by which he may be sent away from this part of the country."

"Pray act up to it at once," said the other animals.

The old goat laid himself down in a cave on the roadside, with his flowing beard and long curved horns. The lion on his way to the village saw him, and stopped at the mouth of the cave.

"So you have come, after all," said the goat.

"What do you mean?" said the lion.

"Why, I have long been lying in this cave. I have eaten up one hundred elephants, a hundred tigers, a thousand wolves, and ninety-nine lions. One more lion has been wanting. I have waited long and patiently. Heaven has, after all, been kind to me," said the goat, and shook his horns and his beard, and made a start as if he were about to spring upon the lion.

The latter said to himself, "This animal looks like a goat, but it does not talk like one. So it is very likely some wicked [106] spirit in this shape. Prudence often serves us better than valour, so for the present I shall return to the wood," and he turned back.

The goat rose up, and, advancing to the mouth of the cave, said, "Will you come back to-morrow?"

"Never again," said the lion.

"Do you think I shall be able to see you, at least, in the wood to-morrow?"


[Illustration]

THE LION AND THE GOAT

"Neither in the wood, nor in this neighbourhood any more," said the lion, and running to the forest, soon left it with his kindred.

The animals in the country, not hearing him roar any more, gathered round the goat, and said, "The wisdom of one doth save a host."


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